AV ‘would turn Islington South yellow’

AS the nation gears up for a referendum on proportional representation, a new study has revealed Islington’s political landscape would be different under the Alternative Vote system.

The figures, revealed by analysis of British Election Study data collected after the election last year, show Emily Thornberry, Labour MP for Islington South and Finsbury, would have lost her seat to the Liberal Democrat candidate Bridget Fox.

British voters go to the ballot box on May 5 to decide whether to stay with the current first past the post system or switch to the alternative vote.

Under the new system, candidates would be picked in order of preference, with second and third choices taken into account if necessary until someone gets 50 per cent of the vote.

Ms Fox said: “I have supported a different electoral system since long before I was a member of a political party, never mind a candidate, not because it would have changed any particular result, but because it is easier for voters to hold their MP to account. Any system where the candidate needs a majority to win has to be a good thing.

“We are lucky in Islington because it is a marginal seat, but in much of the country once you are selected by the party you have a job for life.

“Emily works hard because she has a small majority, but in some boroughs the MP is at the mercy of the party whips rather than the voters.

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“I hope Londoners go out and vote in May 5 because the outcome will affect us all for years.”

Ms Thornberry said: “These are the results of one survey and there have been many others that say different.

“We are out every week talking to residents and we have no doubt that Liberal Democrat support has completely collapsed.

“People are angry about the way they are propping up this appalling government, which is subjecting Islington to these cuts, and they will not be forgiven.”