Debate on voting system change

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A PUBLIC meeting is being held in Lancaster next Wednesday, April 6, to debate a possible change to the UK’s voting system.

When the electorate votes in local elections on May 5, they will also take part in a referendum on whether to replace the existing ‘first past the post’ system with the Alternative Vote system.

Under first past the post the candidate with the most votes wins, but under Alternative Vote voters rank candidates in order of preference, with the candidate who has the fewest votes eliminated and their second choice votes re-distributed until one candidate has a 50 per cent share of the vote.

The meeting is being held at St Thomas’ Church in Marton St from 7pm – 9pm.

Speakers will include Conservative Lancaster and Morecambe MP Eric Ollerenshaw MP, Liberal Democrat Lancaster City Council leader Coun Stuart Langhorn, Green Party city councillor Jon Barry and Sefton Labour Party candidate Kris Brown.

The meeting will be chaired by Dr Neil Foxlee, a local resident and lecturer in Rhetoric at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston.

“The referendum on the Alternative Vote gives us what may be a once-in-a-lifetime chance to choose whether to change or keep the UK’s electoral system,” said Dr Foxlee.

“It’s hugely important for our democracy that the issue should be properly debated at the local as well as the national level. That’s why I’ve organised the meeting, which I hope will be well attended.”

For further details, contact Dr Foxlee on 01524 60325, email nfoxlee1@uclan.ac.uk.