A straight choice?

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Simon Hughes bar chartI was wondering which candidate would be the first to succomb to the temptations of the bar chart. In the end, I was unsurprised to discover it was Simon Hughes on his new (vastly improved) website.

It is a shame however that the Hughes Campaign have chosen to endorse data which is statistically meaningless, methodologically dubious and, in other parts of the dataset, actually quite damaging for the party. Presumably, they agree with the Guardian that the “Findings are bad news for all three candidates .”

But please. Spare me this guff about the election being a two-horse race. In a first past the post election this is a perfectly legitimate tactic, albeit a negative one. In an AV race, it becomes wholly meaningless. People who want “anyone but Hughes” can legitimately vote for their first choice with no fear of splitting the vote. Simon’s campaign would do well to remember that.

2 thoughts on “A straight choice?

  1. Were Campbell and Huhne competing for second place in first preferences (as suggested by the bar chart), rather than first, as is rather more likely to be true, then it might be appropriate to ask, which is able to beat Hughes? That is which gets more (enough) transfers from the other.

    Then there would be a tactical question – the candidate who can beat Hughes should be put first, so that they survive the first round.

  2. People who want “anyone but Hughes” can legitimately vote for their first choice with no fear of splitting the vote. Simon’s campaign would do well to remember that.

    Not true. If, say, Ming’s second preferences will go overwhelmingly to Huhne but Huhne’s will split evenly (or viceversa) then any “anti Hughes” voter should obviously vote firstly for the candidate whose second preferences will split evenly (Huhne in the above example). Adjust as appropriate for “anti-Ming” voters.

    Your claim is predicated on the assumption that EVERY voter who votes Huhne or Campbell is inevitably an “anti-Hughes” voter.

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