Business leaders in The Telegraph back electoral reform

From the letters page in today’s Daily Telegraph comes this call from some of our best business leaders to back electoral reform in the UK:

SIR – The May 5 referendum on whether we should replace first-past-the-post with the alternative vote will be one of the defining political events of this parliament. Writing in a personal capacity, we believe that there are three powerful reasons to vote for it.

First, AV would force politicians to work harder to achieve more than 50 per cent of the vote. The last election was decided by just 1.6 per cent of voters, in marginal constituencies, who were targeted with intense leafleting and visits by politicians. Under AV, parties would have to pay far more attention to the majority of people during election campaigns.

Secondly, AV would give greater legitimacy to MPs. At the moment, many MPs have been returned to the House of Commons with the support of just three out of 10 of their constituents. This would no longer be possible under AV.

Thirdly, AV would better reflect our country as it is today. In 1950, Labour and the Tories were the top two parties in 96 per cent of constituencies. Last May, that figure was 44 per cent. We are much less of a two-party country.

A vote for change on May 5 would be a victory for fairness and a break with a system of the past. It would be good for the country and good for business.

Lord Aldington
Senior adviser, Deutsche Bank
Russell Chambers
Senior adviser, Credit Suisse
Guy Dawson
Chairman, Financial Institutions, Nomura
Terry Duddy
CEO, Home Retail Group
Lord Jay of Ewelme
Director, Candover Investments
Patrick O’Sullivan
Chairman, Old Mutual
James Palumbo
Co-founder, Ministry of Sound
Vijay Patel
CEO, Waymade Healthcare
Roland Rudd
Senior partner, Finsbury
Lord Sharman of Redlynch
Chairman, Aviva
Sir Stephen Wall
Adviser, Macquarie European Infrastructure Investment Fund
London EC2


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