Double polling day for voters

A Polling Station in Cliffe.
A Polling Station in Cliffe.

READERS have given their verdict on a historic poll today that could change the way people vote.

Today residents will be redrawing the county’s political map in local authority elections and the voting reform referendum is also taking place nationwide.

Derbyshire Times reader panellists have had their say on the referendum, which will ask the public whether they want to replace the existing first-past-the-post system for electing MPs to Westminster with a method called the alternative vote (AV).

One said she would be voting in the AV poll and ‘very much’ cared about reform when asked.

She added: “I’ve felt for many years that the current system is unfair to smaller parties who get a number of votes which is disproportionately low compared to the number of seats they win.”

But fellow voter Martin Thacker said: “Having the referendum about an alternative voting system is a waste of tax payers’ money! I don’t see any reason for supporting the AV system when a candidate who receives the most votes is not necessarily the winner.

“The AV system would allow candidates who are placed third or fourth a chance of winning and this may let extremist parties in through the ‘back door’.”

And some of our panel said they did not feel they had been given enough information to understand how AV works or were confused by the debate.

Susan Emmerson said: “I have no knowledge what the voting is about, I doubt many have. I may or may not vote but feel it may be a waste of a vote to vote on something I do not understand.

“First past the post surely are the winners just like a horse race or anything else.”

We also asked our Facebook fans if they would be voting – with 11 people saying yes, four no, and one that they didn’t know about it.

To join the debate visit www.facebook.com/derbyshiretimes or sign up to our reader panel at www.derbyshiretimes.co.uk.