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Voting reform: council debate.

Byline: BARRY GIBSON

COUNCILLORS will debate a radical change to the voting system next week.

A referendum will be held on May 5 to decide whether to bring in the Alternative Vote (AV) system for general elections.

Westminster polls are currently held using first-past-the-post, where the candidate with the most votes wins.

Under AV, voters rank candidates 1,2,3 etc.

If no-one wins majority support, the lower candidates are eliminated and their votes redistributed until someone gets over the 50% barrier.

Kirklees Council will debate the proposed change at its monthly meeting on Wednesday.

Conservative councillors have submitted a motion urging people to back first-past-the-post.

Lib Dem members of Kirklees have put in a motion calling for voters to back AV.

Clr David Woodhead, Lib Dem councillor for Holme Valley North said: "The Conservatives have put in a motion saying that people should back first-past- the-post.

"This is not surprising as the Conservatives benefit from the current system's inadequacies. "In their motion there is not one reason why it should be kept. And why is this? "Because there is no argument for keeping it.

"Anyone in favour of first-past-the-post wants unfair elections, malfunctioning politics and lazy MPs."

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* REFERENDUM CALL: Clr David Woodhead
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Mar 18, 2011
Words:205
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