July 5, 2010, midnight
Deputy Prime Minister Nick CLEGG on Monday outlined his proposal to reform Britain's electoral system in a referendum proposed for May 5, 2011. CLEGG’S proposal would switch from first-past-the-post to the Alternative Vote (AV) system and, in a concession to Conservative Party coalition partners, decrease the number of MPs and adjust district boundaries in order to redress alleged malapportionment. Also known as instant runoff or ranked choice voting, AV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If no candidate receives an absolute majority of votes, losing candidates are eliminated, and votes for those candidates are reallocated to voters’ next ranked choices. A referendum on a new electoral system was one of the key demands of CLEGG’s Liberal Democrats during negotiations to form a government. CLEGG’s coalition partner, Prime Minister David CAMERON, opposes the proposed system, but agreed to allow a referendum.