Alan Renwick

Could electoral reform really happen?

Could the results of today’s general election really lead to change in the electoral system? Many commentators seem to think yes. Alan Renwick here offers some reason for caution.

Lots of people are suddenly talking about electoral reform. Never mind that the British electorate voted by 68 per cent to 32 per cent in a referendum in 2011 against dropping First Past […]

Could Scotland buck the trend and vote ‘Yes’?

The polls have been narrowing in Scotland’s independence referendum debate with the vote just over two weeks away. Alan Renwick reflects here on whether the ‘Yes’ campaign really could pull off an unexpected victory.

I wrote a piece for the Telegraph a couple of weeks ago pointing out that, if Scotland’s voters follow the patterns seen in most referendums around the world, they will […]

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    The battle to secure the hearts and minds of Scottish voters heats up

The battle to secure the hearts and minds of Scottish voters heats up

The Scottish independence referendum debate heated up with recent interventions by heavyweight politicians. But what effect has it had, and does it really matter with 6 months to go? Alan Renwick takes us through some basic rules of referendum dynamics and tells us what we can expect from both sides as the vote draws closer.  The Scottish referendum campaign has finally […]

Electing the House of Lords: the STV voting system fits the required criteria very well

Alan Renwick explores the proposals for reforming the House of Lords with a view to explaining the specific consequences of the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system – arguing that it would be unlikely to bring the party domination seen in Australia.  The parliamentary select committee that has examined the government’s proposals for reform of the House of Lords published its report […]

A vote for AV may lead to fewer safe seats but whether this would make MPs work harder is still up for debate

The AV referendum is now only a week away. In previous posts, Alan Renwick from the University of Reading has debunked some of the myths advanced by the ‘No’ campaign: that AV violates the principle of ‘one person, one vote’ and that it would lead to permanent coalitions. Here, Dr Renwick casts doubt on four of the contentions from the […]

AV will not change the face of parliament but may change the way that we think about politics

In the second of his posts looking at some key questions around the AV debate, Alan Renwick from the University of Reading moves on to examine how the AV system would affect the national picture. Using simulations of the previous seven elections, he provides evidence on how AV would affect the major and minor parties, the frequency of hung parliaments […]

The Alternative Vote will elect candidates with the broadest support of voters

In the first of two posts examining the Alternative vote, Alan Renwick from the University of Reading looks at how the AV electoral system may affect election results at both the local and the national level. In this first post, he gives a simple guide to how second preferences are re-allocated, examines whether AV will only allow majority winners […]