Why AV does not give some people “two votes”

What John Humphrys should have told David Cameron this morning.

John Humphrys tied himself in knots on the Today programme this morning attempting to rebut David Cameron's claim that AV gives some people two votes. The broadcaster said: "I have a second preference as well as you or anybody else and you count them again as well, so you don't count some people's votes more than others."

This allowed a gleeful Cameron to respond: "You are wrong. If you vote for the Labour candidate and I vote for the Monster Raving Loony candidate and the Monster Raving Loony comes last, my second preference is then counted again . . . It is quite worrying if actually the lead broadcaster on the BBC doesn't understand the system. You don't understand the system you are supposed to be explaining to the public. I do think that's worrying. Back to school."

What Humphrys was rather clumsily attempting to explain is that first preferences are also counted twice. The difference is that your vote goes to the same candidate in each round. For instance, in the 2002 French presidential election, if you voted for Lionel Jospin in the first round and Jacques Chirac in the second round (to keep Jean-Marie Le Pen out), you did not get more votes than someone who voted for Chirac in both rounds. A transferred vote is not the same as a multiple vote.

It's not a complicated argument, but it's one that the Yes campaign, to its cost, has struggled to make since the campaign began.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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Pro-Trump site “reveals” Hillary Clinton’s “hitman and secret sex fixer” to be… Ed Miliband

Unsubstantiated cobblers? Why not spice it up with a picture of the former leader of the Labour party awkwardly standing?

The weekly pro-Trump supermarket tabloid, The National Enquirer, ran an unsubstantiated story recently allegedly quoting a former Hillary Clinton bag carrier. The source, described as a “hitman” and “fixer”, provided a WORLD EXCLUSIVE!!!! about all the things that Clinton supposedly made him do – involving (hold your horses, America!) sex and money.

The story was picked up by a pro-Trump site called American News, and other murky corners of the internet’s alt-right, and illustrated with an even more bollocks (if that’s possible) photo. It’s a picture of Bill Clinton shaking Nick Clegg’s hand – with Ed Miliband lurking nearby, giving them the side-eye.

Looks familiar, right?

But never mind that this photo was taken three years ago at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service. Never mind that it accuses the former leader of the UK Labour party of being in the pocket of the Clintons. Never mind that even the circle highlighting him was copied from the Mail. Never mind that Ed Miliband, face furrowed in suspicion, hand damply resting on his front, resembling an awkward and aggrieved butler, would be the last person to have the wherewithal to arrange discreet sordid liaisons anyway. It’s a picture on the internet, folks!

Let’s take our country out of the hands of these failed innocuous Bridish politicians and make America great again!

I'm a mole, innit.