February 24th, 2011

Election Night vs AV

There was cross-party support for the Save General Election Night campaign that was set up in September 2009 when it looked like some councils were not going to count on the same day as polling. Particularly prominent were Mark Pack of the LibDemVoice, a Yes2AV supporter and Jack Straw, who backed legislation to make sure the results came through on the night, also a supporter of AV. Pack wrote:

“The drama of election night is one of the rare occasions when a mass public audience gets interested in the details of politics and hears news and information at more than nano-soundbite length.”

Given the pious storm of self-righteousness the Yes campaign have whipped themselves into denying that counting machines would be needed if we switch to AV, perhaps they could explain how the UK would still have a General Election night if they weren’t used? When LibDems supporters of AV say “there are no plans to bring in computers” remember they said they had no plans to bring in a VAT hike etc. Under FPTP the results take long enough to count as it is, without giving the voters who backed losers a second go. Perhaps Mr Pack, and the Straws etc would care to either chose between the election night loved by millions, or AV?

Or simply concede the obvious – that expensive counting computers would be needed…

UPDATE : The Speccie have a scoop on the milllion quid donation from ERS to the “Yes to AV” campaign, ERS is funded by ERS Ltd which, errm, runs electronic voting systems. What does the ERS say about electronic voting? It is the future appparently they say because:

  • It encourages electoral participation, especially among the young, who are by far the group least likely to vote.
  • Voting online can include better links between the vote and the information on which a vote should be based, thus leading to more informed decisions.
  • By logging all votes electronically, the counting process is carried out more-or-less instantly.

So it looks like Yes to £250 million (and the rest) of electronic voting machines run by ERS Ltd…


  1. 1
    Hmm says:

    Save Election night? You’re starting to sound like an over-emotional lefty.

  2. 2
    Fabians are evil says:

    I like nothing better to be drinking a good bottle, or three, of wine as I watch labour dullards being beaten into the early hours of the morning

  3. 3
    YES says:

    The No to AV campaign comes across as nitpicking

  4. 4
    investigative journalist says:

    How touching.

  5. 5
    Shit tip says:

    Only I am entirely aware of the irony of asking Gordon to tidy up.

    When his flat was burgled while he was a student, the police braced him for the worst, saying the place had been ‘totally ransacked’ — only to discover that Gordon’s messy study hadn’t even been touched.


  6. 6
    Nicola says:

    Election night does not need to go if we bring in AV.

    It doesn’t have to take that much longer under AV. All you have to do is count until 1 candidate has 50% of the vote.

    It does take longer in Oz but thats nothing to do with the system – thats due to their counting process. Postal votes can come in 10days after the election. In the UK postal votes have to be in by election night.

    They don’t count things in a central location in the constituency so all the results are not together.

  7. 7
    Steve Miliband says:

    They need to address postal vote fraud.

  8. 8
    Usually right says:

    Oh dear, electronic voting machines with no paper record=
    Big Brother’s wet dream.

  9. 9
    John Adlington says:

    Counting machines or no counting machines, AV or FPTP, the same wankers get in.

    No point in voting.

  10. 10
    Porkie Pie Pickles says:

    That’s the No2AV campaign – to save a late night TV show !!!!

    No2AV are floundering on a daily basis. Their arguments are weak, and their campaign is childish.

  11. 11
    No2IT says:

    Mmm. Bring in computer systems, and they’re absolutely bound to get hacked by any number of ne’er do wells – bored geeks, crims, idealogues, foreign states wanting to influence our democratic process – all unattributable and difficult to detect. Thus we will never know the real result of an election anyway. Don’t be persuaded that an open system, that interfaces the public, will be absolutely secure either – can’t be done; eg think of the ‘insider’ threat. Stick to pencil, paper and human eyeball for these important things.

  12. 12
    Steve Miliband says:

    She seems to be ‘ill’ or ‘unwell’ quite often

  13. 13
    MattR says:

    The suggestion is for electronic counting machines, so the paper record is the ballot papers.

  14. 14
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    More expense!!!! Fucking hell .

    Its not the voting system that needs changing , its the wankers standing for election and tjhere love for ther EU gravy tRAIN.

  15. 15
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    Addicted to a dull “spectacle” and sleep deprivation?

    Why not just go to the departures lounge and stare at the screen. when you aren’t actually going to get on any of the planes. More fun.

  16. 16
    ??? says:

    Where’s Nick ???

  17. 17
    Postie says:

    Is it 68?

  18. 18
    Gordon Brown says:

    i will count all the votes myself in order that there is a free and fair election, my father was a Vicar.

  19. 19
    Porkie Pie Pickles says:

    wheres Warsi ???

  20. 20
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    the actual argument is “things are fine as they stand with our political system”.

    Doesn’t spin well does it?

  21. 21
    It does not wash says:

    Her Diaries are constant celebrity name dropping, interspersed with fainting fits and taking revenge on those who have dared to cross Gordon.

    On the subject of Gordon, there seems to be an attempt to defend every major mistake he made. She tries to make the reader like her but fails and comes across just as vindictive and celebrity seeking as slot gob.

  22. 22

    … knowing that they will the roger themselves in the whole of the … afternoon.

  23. 23
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Maybe the Royals could help with the count as part of the big society.

  24. 24

    39 Victoria Street, London, SW1H 0HA

  25. 25
    The Royals says:

    Yep. As long as it’s not Blair or Brown

  26. 26
  27. 27
    On Harman Pride's Dossier says:

    Today they’ve got a stooge in the Speccie to try and attack the ERS for owning ERSL, because the ERS are campaigning for the Yes vote, and ERSL are likely to get the contract for the new voting system.

    That’s the same ERS that has been campaigning for electoral reform for over a century. And the same ERSL that wins the contract to run every election ever anywhere in the world.

    You don’t need machines to count an AV vote, or even an STV vote (although you might use an Excel sheet to double-check your maths for the latter) You just create different piles for the various combinations of votes. Once they’re sorted out like that, it’s just a matter of adding and subtracting the various totals.

  28. 28
    William says:

    Australia has AV and it counts on the same night.

    Honestly. What next from No2AV – AV will waste pen ink because of all the extra marks people are making on their ballot papers??

  29. 29
    Porkie Pie Pickles says:

    You know when things are bad for Guido – He ignores all elephants rhinos and double Decker buses in the room.

    Oil £117 a barrel
    Cambo’s disastrous Foreign trip
    SpAd intake explosion
    Big Society ssshhhhhhhhh
    Inflation will be +6% by Christmas
    Unemployment will be 2.8m by Autumn
    Coalition meltdown in May
    Hague a figure of fun
    Warsi hiding away
    GP consortium an impending disater
    Pork Pie getting fatter
    Tory councils blaming Lab Councils for cuts !!!!
    And don’t forget Cou*lsons inpending per*jury charge.

  30. 30
    Steve Miliband says:

    Tes campaign funded by Electoral reform society! The company that would benefit the most from a change


  31. 31
    Lord Wayne of Trombone says:

    BBC’s The One Show taken off air after microwave incident
    Viewers of the BBC’s The One Show were left bewildered after the live programme was taken off air after a microwave triggered a fire alarm.

    viewing figures went up as replacement content was played from tape.

    fuck the telly tax.

  32. 32
    Steve Miliband says:

    Anyone but Labour

  33. 33
    Tom Tomos says:

    Under FPTP an abstention is as valuable as any other vote. With AV, as Guido says, people get another bite at the cherry after backing a ‘loser’. AV devalues an abstention (because you cant have a second choice abstention. Equalise the electoral size of constituencies and keep FPTP.

  34. 34
    Gonk says:

    So you can just use loads of women
    for that, right

  35. 35
    Porkie Pie Pickles says:

    LOL…. Enjoy the nightmare….Apologist !!!!!

  36. 36
    Steve Miliband says:

    Did anyone notice?

  37. 37
    bird with small brain says:

    There is built in problem for the NoAv campaign because, unlike most everyday situations, in this case apathy won’t result in the retention of the status quo.

    It’s easy to see that the proAv people are driven to vote by virtue of wanting change, an obvious motivator. For the NoAv lot it’s going to be harder to overcome the psychological rule that ‘doing nothing means nothing changes’.

    So what? So the anti AV people must up their game.

    I do like stating the obvious…

  38. 38
    Porkie Pie Pickles says:

    errrrrr an “Electoral Reform Society” backing “Electoral Reform”….Whatever next. Weak Weak Weak !!!.

    Can we have the list of financial backers to No2AV…. narrr didnt think so.

  39. 39
    brentford_mike says:

    1 AV smacks of the liberal-left post-war ethos of all-shall-win-prizes that has so damaged this country’s competitiveness, whether in commerce, education, sport or dozens of other areas.
    2 It will make an apathetic and confused electorate more so.
    3 It will be expensive to implement.
    4 It helps losers and extremists (not mutually exclusive) at election time.

    In short, there is nothing to commend it, and one marvels that we are even having a plebiscite on the matter, let alone even discussing it.

  40. 40
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    I have asked this before, But how will AV affect polling and pollsters? At the moment that ask, Who will you vote for? if AV wins they would have to ask , who will you rank as you first choice, Then seconed etc , Or am i missing something?

  41. 41
    P. Doff says:

    I prefer one more… a bit of soixante-neuf before getting up!

  42. 42
    Worthless Lib Dem Pledge says:

    Who in their right mind would believe a word Jack Straw says. He done a deal with Scotland for the release of the mass murderer for Libyan oil and then denied it. He helped take the country to war with Iraq and is supposed to be a conscientious objector or used to be. Who votes for dishonest people like him and Blair??????

    I note Clegg is on holiday, again, when the country has a crisis to repatriate its people from Libya. I think Guido is right he is always not to be found when there is a problem- a bit like McDoom. With his shortened working week we could be forgiven that he creates the impression he does not do a lot.

    Remember to oppose Lib Dems in each local authority area in May. Let’s make them history.

  43. 43
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    “vote tess”

    I bet you argue that people can’t work out how to do numbers instead of crosses.

    (BTW: I’m not pro AV)

  44. 44
    I Remember You Hoo says:

    Stop voting for the same three parties then. Take some responsibility for your actions, instead of hiding behind inaction.

  45. 45
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    they get to arse about pontificating about all sorts of shite. they go on about everything and every possibility. Lets them divide people into even more camps. one of the best arguments against AV.

  46. 46
  47. 47
    Porkie Pie Pickles says:

    That No2AV strategy in Full:-

    The UK electorate are all thick, so new system will confuse them.
    There will be no Peter Snow graphics show on election night.
    ….eeerrrrr that its

  48. 48
    Jonah never apologised once says:

    Cameron has apologised for the government’s slow response over Libya. Whatever you may think of Cameron, he’s actually apologised for a mistake. When did Brown EVER apologise for any of the thousands of horrific things he did? For this reason alone Cameron is a billion times better than Jonah.

  49. 49
    Another fine mess awaiting us says:

    But it’ll keep the LibDems in permanent power and Nick at the centre of government so vote “Yes” on May 6th……………….it’s what the people want after all……..isn’t it ???

  50. 50
    ???? says:

    Don’t forget the clincher…Nick wants it

  51. 51
    Tone and Al says:

    We could bang out a quick folder on WMD if you need to send in some tanks.

  52. 52
    The BBC speaks up says:

    Gordon never did anything wrong though ….Labour was/is infallible …..so no apology was/is ever necessary. Meanwhile back to stoking up “faux outrage” over the situation

  53. 53
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    I wouldnt quite go that far , but it easy in the first few years of a goverment to do this (Blame the last lot , apologise and voters accept it) , The reason Brown couldnt was most of the blame was as his door and the public didnt trust his Labour goverment and thought it had been in power to long.

  54. 54
    Handycock says:

    Gimme a kiss and a cuddle, princess.

  55. 55
    Gordon Brown says:

    To say sorry is a sign of weakness. I never had to apolgise because I got everything right.

  56. 56
    I'll have some of that says:

    They can’t! Do you seriously believe these Council muppets counting at 3 am, are going to reallocate a voter’s 3rd choice to the 2nd choice pile etc etc accurately, given the current standards of literacy and numeracy?
    Supermarkets are having to train school leavers how to read and write. The country’s too thick to cope!

    It won’t be long before they’re incapable of counting the crosses……

  57. 57
    Handycock says:

    Are you 18 years old? Sorry, you’re too old for me.

  58. 58
    Lev Eakins says:

    Hey Guido,

    Here’s what our side (LDs) are telling us about the counting machines:

    “The News of the World poll included the fictitious cost of £250m in the question, which left Yes on 22 and No on 54. The NO campaign’s claims of the cost being £250m are wholly inaccurate. This is based on the cost of voting machines, which are not going to be used. People are employed for the election count regardless of the system.”

    I’m also told Australia have been using AV for about 80 years without the need for these machines.

    Has the NO2AV got any evidence that the government either wants or intends to purchase these machines?

    I accept that the gov could change it’s mind, and buy them at a later date – and yes, I can accept this argument might be made by those who want the result on the same night – however the campaign to have the result on the same night preceded the AV campaign, and given the raw state of finances, I wouldn’t expect that campaign to be resurrected due to the cost implications.

    Kind regards,

    Lev Eakins

  59. 59
    Al says:

    Find something useful to do, troll.

  60. 60
    Steve Miliband says:

    I disagree – Brown is flawed and has no inter personal skills and no sense of his many weaknesses. Therefore everything was someone else’s fault – I blame Sue.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    Tacitus says:

    Odd you missed a chance to whack the Green Party, Guido – after all they’ve left themselves wide open.

    Read my blog at http://bit.ly/eLwJ9p

  63. 63
    Double Deckers says:

  64. 64
    freebies says:

    Do those escaping Libya get their flight for free?

  65. 65
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    What i meant was back in the early days when New labour were new they had the F1/bernie scandal , They said sorry ( With human face Blair) and the public gave then the benifit of the doubt, By the time Brown ( the unhuman face) came to power most of the goodwill and benifit of the doubt had gone from voters towards labour.

  66. 66
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    dead babies. dead soldiers.

  67. 67
    Porkie Pie Pickles says:

    U-turns like a revolving door, and apologizes. Not forgetting, still on 20 a day.

  68. 68
    Anonymous says:

    Totally not fussed about staying up late for election night. Even under FPTP, none of the really interesting results come in until the next morning anyway. And until then you have to endure six hours of repetitive dross from either an increasingly worn-out studio panel or half-baked speculation in front of a green screen. Tried the alternative coverage on C4 last year but even that got tired after a while.

  69. 69
    Porkie Pie Pickles says:

    If the NO’s silly campaign is doing so well – Why are all the NO’s so Jittery

  70. 70
    Tom Tomos says:

    No. The last election was a fluke. AV will certainly keep the LibDems in power. FPTP is likely to see a return to normality.

  71. 71
    Brown is a nasty, lying, incompetent sack of vomit who always blamed others for his fuck-ups says:

    Shouldn’t Magda donate the proceeds of her book to some of the millions whose lives were devastated by her contractual husband?

  72. 72
    Eeu to me says:

    Plots, rumours and conspiracy, Guido’s Banner says, I don’t see news updated every hour, it’s a blog the owner decides it’s content, send him an email and see if he will change it for you.

  73. 73
    Blinky says:

    I am after Ed’s job. I want to be pwime minister!

  74. 74

    Sign the petition to bring back Diane Abbott to This Week! (Don’t worry, it’s not what you think): http://thecurrerball.wordpress.com

  75. 75
    misterned says:

    We should exert maximum effort to prevent computers ever being allowed anywhere near a vote count.

    Once a computer is used, all connection between the voter and the result is lost. the chain of verifiability is broken and the result then instantly becomes a matter of faith, instead of verifiable mathematics.

    You cannot see what is happening to the votes once the machine is tallying them. They are wide open to being hacked, or otherwise manipulated and an invisible fraud becomes far too easy to commit.

  76. 76
    Sir William Waad says:

    Surely only journos care tuppence about Election Night? Either the result is obvious after the first few results have been declared, so that the rest of the programme is pointless, or the result isn’t known until lunchtime the following day, in which case the whole of the programme is pointless. Otherwise it’s just a parade of boring talking heads.

  77. 77
    Steve Miliband says:

    Gordon could chip in with proceeds from his book sales. Should buy someone a sandwich

  78. 78
    Anonymous says:


  79. 79
  80. 80
    misterned says:

    If you still have to verify the electronic result against a manual check of the paper ballots (and you should anyway) then what is the point of the electronic counting? The results would only be provisional anyway and still open to being overturned by a manual count of paper ballots.

    Even if we end up with AV, we must ALWAYS keep the manual counting of paper ballots, as the people using the computers cannot be trusted.

  81. 81
    misterned says:


  82. 82
    The Beast of SOHO says:

    McMental has only ever had a visit from the turd variety of burglar

  83. 83
    misterned says:

    Neither does FPTP is shit, so we should change it for something even worse!

    I mean come on, AV gave the labour party Ed Miliband as their leader. I do not support FPTP, but AV is even worse!

  84. 84
    Government IT Programme says:

    No-one seems to have made the obvious point that the IT programme, if thought to be £250M, will in reality end up at £718M and be 9 years late. Plus only add up 62% of votes and still deliver “anomalous” results.


  85. 85
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    I wouldnt know.
    The best part about election night is the bit when you go “sod it, time to go to bed”.
    Approx 11:20pm this time.

  86. 86
    The iman of bradford says:

    Mine and all those of my many childrens and wives are already in postings along with housing benefit claimings

  87. 87

    O/T Julian Assange to be extradited to Sweden

  88. 88
    misterned says:

    +1, I shall overlook the spelling errors (because I am shit at spelling too and do not want to be a grammar n-a-z-i) but mainly because I agree with you that it is the people standing for election and the constituency boundaries in the election which are wrong.

  89. 89
    misterned says:

    Is it my human right to stop paying my mortgage and declare a Notice Of Intention and Claim Of Right on my property preventing the bank from foreclosing and evicting me? Could any lawyers reading this please advise?

  90. 90
    stilyagi_air_corps says:


  91. 91
    Mancunian says:

    Use Lib Dem as a past tense

  92. 92

    The best time, when Mrs Thatcher was first elected in 1979, was when my gf’s mother went off to bed.

    Jeremy Thorpe loosing his seat was the climax (although he would have known nothing about it.)

  93. 93
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    How long before he is in gitmo ? I give a week.

  94. 94
    I have only one wife says:

    Computers would rob our Moslem brothers of their postal votes manipulation in an attempt to influence the results

  95. 95
    The Guardian says:

    We applaud UK Uncut in protesting evil people like Philip Green who don’t pay enough tax. What’s that? Cayman Islands? Hedge funds? Sorry, we can’t take your call at the moment.

  96. 96

    There is the appeal first…

  97. 97
    Anonymous says:

    Nor can the p[ostal votes be trusted.

  98. 98
    Ed Miliballs says:

    Running elections properly and not like a fucking banana republic would do the same thing. Thank Labour for the mess.

  99. 99
    Desperate Guido says:

    Desperation by the no campaign again. Absolutly no evidence that electronic voting will be introduced. For a supposed libertarian Guido is suprisingly in favour of the FPTP voting system which creates an overly strong executive, allows MPs with almost no mandate to get in and disproportionately favours the Labour party…

    Guido you’re just a small c conservative who pretends to be a libertarian because it sounds more romantic.

  100. 100
    Ed Balls says:

    I was first past the postie

  101. 101
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Is he apealing?

  102. 102
    Ed Miliballs says:

    Where’s Bliar/Mandlebum/Brown to defend their pal Gadaffi?

  103. 103
    misterned says:

    >>Oil £117 a barrel
    You are blaming the tories for this???? Production of oil dropping 50% because the insane friend of labour leaders Tony Blair started massacering his own people had nothing to do with it then?

    >>Cambo’s disastrous Foreign trip
    Being the first new leader to welcome a new regime to power in Egypt, a new regime which is their military, and welcoming them to power and rewarding their responsible, moral and ethical stance during this transition to democracy, (the opposite of Labour’s Libyan friends) and by so-doing create opportunities for British workers to gain more security is a very successful foreign trip.

    >> SpAd intake explosion

    >>Big Society ssshhhhhhhhh
    Slowly more and more people are “getting it” when it comes to the big society. The last people to understand it will be left wingers who ONLY understand the philosophy of “government MUST provide and somebody else must pay”

    >>Inflation will be +6% by Christmas
    I shall wait and see.

    >>Unemployment will be 2.8m by Autumn
    Why? are the tories going to reclassify the lazy fraudsters stealing sickness benefits at last?

    >> Coalition meltdown in May
    The local election results will be bad for the tories and the liberals, but I predict a LOT more independents will be elected in May.

    >> Hague a figure of fun
    Wasn’t he always?

    >> Warsi hiding away

    >> GP consortium an impending disater
    Again, we shall see.

    >> Pork Pie getting fatter
    An immutable law of physics.

    >> Tory councils blaming Lab Councils for cuts !!!!
    The national government doles out the cash, it is up to the local government how much is spent where. When labour councils slash front-line services INSTEAD of scrapping back-room and non-jobs and keep wasting money by the millions, then the people have a right to know and condemn them for it, for it IS happening.

    >> And don’t forget Cou*lsons inpending per*jury charge.
    For something he may or may not have done outside of Government. Yet you want us to forget all the LABOUR MPs who are being sent to prison for what they did under a labour government?

    You are shit at trolling. Give up.

  104. 104
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Is he doing that?

  105. 105
    Ed Miliballs says:

    So what? It’s a damn site better than 13 years living under the facist New Labour party.

  106. 106
    streamfisher says:

    It seems Europeans (and ozzies) are the only people they can extradite these days, everybody else has got uman rights, what’s happening about the Pentagon Hacker?

  107. 107
    Desperate Guido says:

    Desperation by the no campaign again. Absolutly no evidence that electronic voting will be introduced. For a supposed libertarian Guido is suprisingly in favour of the FPTP voting system which creates an overly strong executive, allows MPs with almost no mandate to get in and disproportionately favours the Labour party…

    Guido you’re just a small c conservative who pretends to be a libertarian because it sounds more romantic.

  108. 108
    Alan Johnson says:

    At least somebody wanted to fuck my wife

  109. 109
    misterned says:

    Sad, but true.

  110. 110

    Remember the Florida voting machines that denied ‘President’ Gore his term of office and sent him off spinning the Warmist message, as he fought to recover from the denial of the position which he had assumed was his birthright?

    Bizarrely, the machines were retired, auctioned off and bought as a job lot for an anonymous customer in Germany. Whatever chance there was of forensic analysis of their workings was lost.

  111. 111
    Ulrika says:

    He raped me
    then made a toy rocket out of bog roll

  112. 112
    Eeu to me says:

    To say sorry is a sign of strength, it means you are human and can make mistakes and are confident in yourself that people will understand, not saying sorry is a sign of being worried what people think of you and the mistakes you make, so it makes you just a selfish hoon and don’t have the courage even to yourself.

  113. 113
  114. 114
    misterned says:

    Correct. The FPTP system, when it works and is organised properly, gives the most popular party, the party with the most votes, a clear win. That is what it is designed to do.

    The electoral boundaries at the moment are so rigged and gerrymandered as to give labour a false 10% lead in seats before a vote is counted.

    Cameron won more votes, and a bigger share of the vote than Blair did in 2005, yet Blair had a 66 seat majority.

    And Cameron’s vote was against a labour vote that was smaller in number and share of the vote than John Major’s disastrous result in 1997.

    In 2010, this country, according to votes cast, voted more strongly for a Conservative majority than they did for a labour one in 2005 AND more strongly against labour than they did against the tories in 1997.

    So under a working FPTP system, according to the actual votes cast, Cameron SHOULD have a bigger majority than Blair had in 2005. But the system has been so massively broken and biased towards labour that even by clearly winning the election, by a bigger margin according to national desires, than Blair in 2005, Cameron could only get a draw and needed the libs to help them form a majority government.

  115. 115

    Guido is against AV because when you look at the people in favour of it you know they are usually wrong about almost everything.

    Don’t really give a toss how the deckchairs of democracy are arranged.

  116. 116
    South of the M4 says:

    So, we had a PM who fucked up and would not apologise. Now we have a PM who still fucks up, but apologises. Don’t know about you, but I want a PM who does not fuck up and thus has no need to apologise.

  117. 117
    Sir William Waad says:

    Guido is right. This campaign of ‘Reform’ to extend the vote to the artisan classes can only lead to revolution and the loss of our empire. Politicians will have to pander to the lowest class of person; the indigent and slothful, who will not work for themselves, will be able to extort money from honest folk by the power of their votes. Their education and parentage fits them only for simple physical occupations – they have no capability of understanding the abstract concepts of politics, or considering matters beyond their own greedy bellies.

    What next? They’ll be demanding that women should vote, before we know what’s what!

  118. 118
    tory boys never grow up says:

    So we should choose between electoral systems on the basis of cost and whether or not they allow political anoraks there fix of whatever Dimbleby at 4am in the morning.

    Perhaps the logic of these arguments would be to argue for the return of rotten boroughs which would bring in a little money and would guarantee government by Tories in perpetuity.

  119. 119
    Super Zuffle says:

    So what you are in fact saying using the Ed Millitwat example is that AV delivers LPTP ?

  120. 120
    BillyBob.....beware, the jungle drums!! says:

    No, no, no ….yes, yes, yes, f*ck it, it’s a NO from me !!

  121. 121
    Postal Vote says:

    ERS is shady and has made a lot of money already thanks to labour.

    AV will have huge economic consequences because deals between labour and lib dems to persuade their respective core voters to put the other party second and conservatives last will put conservatives out of office eternally given the size of the client state of 6 million in the public sector and millinos on benefits.

    AV = bye, bye conservatives

  122. 122

    Today I am renaming all of the northern French littoral.

  123. 123
    tory boys never grow up says:

    The most convincing argument I’ve heard in a while – to be on the same side as Nick Clegg and Guido on anything would simply be too much.

  124. 124
    Super Zuffle says:

    Well said things might be bad but the country would rather starve to death than have Labour back at the helm. Despite ruining the countrys finances, the Labour party itself is 20 million in debt. I would not trust them with a pair of scissors never mind the econonmy!

  125. 125
    streamfisher says:

    The map of the World is indeed covered in pink but this no longer delineates the extent of our Empire, ‘The Sun’ has set Sir William.

  126. 126
    Wait till Dave gets home. says:

    So who is going to carry the can, William Hague or Nick Clegg?

  127. 127
  128. 128
    Just saying says:

    Good to see your still getting on with the job!

  129. 129
    Must get a pseudonym one day says:

    Far better plan to count the voters rather than just the votes – then we’d stand a chance of getting some fairer results in Bradford, Keighley, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leicester, Birmingham and many boroughs of London.

  130. 130

    And wanting droog-addled 16-year-olds with heads full of sawdust and tinfoil to vote out their least favourite candidates by text from their mobile wirelesses.

  131. 131
    misterned says:

    If you read Bernie Ecclestone’s version and Max Mosley’s version, labour lied their asses off throughout the whole affair and then did everything they could to bury Ecclestone and blame him for it. The fact is that they directly sold a specific policy for a million quid Bung mere months after a tory “2k brown envelope” scandal involving a back bencher asking a question in the commons.

    What labour did was an order of magnitude more corrupt than that.

  132. 132

    Come, come now sir. You will be witness to plenty of election count excitement here in Ireland on Saturday, we’re not using electronic count machines and we’ve a more complex voting system than the simplistic AV.

  133. 133
    misterned says:

    Gordon Brown, I still remember one weird and fucked up non-apology you made, when you said “I am totally responsible for what happened and so I have sacked the person responsible”


    Kudos for Dave, for issuing a full and real apology, without weeks and weeks of pressure dragging it out of him.

  134. 134
    Ed Balls says:

    At least I pay all my debts

  135. 135
    streamfisher says:

    mobile wirelesses?

  136. 136
    misterned says:

    That will never happen so long as we have tory, labour or Liberal MPs in the Government.

  137. 137
    Ed Balls says:

    Ecclestone is a Tory apparently and MM wants to become a Labour MO

  138. 138
    Anonymous says:

    Yes, Guido, we know that the treasonous liblabcons you represent want everything to stay the corrupt way it is for the benefit of you and your rich mates. Dream on.

  139. 139
    simon r says:

    My mind was made up when I heard that that tosser Eddie Izzard was in favour of it.

  140. 140
    Let them eat cake just don't take a pic of them doing it says:

    I see that Hunt zeta jones is at the Palace today, this is the cow who went to court claiming hurt feelings and degradation because someone took a picture of her eating a cake FFS!

  141. 141
    Steve Miliband says:

    ”Ted should remember that the Sun was launched in 1964 and avoid asking how it covered events in the 1940s and 1950s; he should also avoid asking the childless Brooks how her kids are. I’m told it could have gone better.”

  142. 142
    misterned says:

    There are only two things to do with the green party.

    1. the humane thing to do is ignore them and hope that they collapse.

    2. the judicial thing to do is to execute them before they get the chance to execute billions of our fellow human beings, as many environmental leaders have called for global population to be reduced to at most 500 million or so.

    If any of you had a chance to go back in time to kill Hitler before he came to power, would you?

    What should we do about the greens before they get the power to execute billions, rather than mere millions.

  143. 143
    Bomb everything! says:

    Right so you think it’s OK in this case as it’s your cause not ours for a private company to give funds to a group that will change our political system in a way that by pure coincidence will financially benefit the company? right!

  144. 144
    sockpuppet #4 says:

    One might note that the french system is pretty much a slow motion version of AV. chirac versus lePen was a classic.

  145. 145
    streamfisher says:

    Was it the Dentist?.

  146. 146
    Grown up Tory says:

    Sounds good.

  147. 147
    Bomb everything! says:


  148. 148
    david says:

    Of course Nick, (the memory man) Clegg may forget to turn up for election night anyway.


    Confidence in the Coalition may have dropped the odd point or two today.

    Hmmm sorry to the trees ,now its sorry to ex-pats, who next I wonder.

  149. 149
    Magdas diaries are a PR attempt to rehabilitate Brownt says:

    He ran the economy is the same way .

  150. 150
    Bomb everything! says:

    +100 on this one misterned!

  151. 151
    Anonymous says:

    That student break in sorry is an urban myth,a joke that has done the rounds for years. Magma pretends it really happened to her hero. Liar.

  152. 152
    Bomb everything! says:

    What the list of those who don’t stand to make a lot of taxpayer cash like E.R.S Ltd ?
    yes that will win me over !

  153. 153
    Machine age. says:

    What you got agin electronic voting Guido? Once in place it’s got to be a lot cheaper than employing tens of thousands of people up and down the country working through the night to count the votes.

  154. 154
    Observer says:

    If people are duped into voting for AV and the predictable move to electronic counting machines, the cost will be far higher than the figure currently suggested. All governments are hopeless at IT procurement. The cost almost always overruns. No wonder this company is behind the Yes lobby.

  155. 155
    Tom Tomos says:


  156. 156
    Anonymous says:

    What’s that skippy……jackie smith has been re elected as second preference !

  157. 157
    Voter says:

    It’s very hard to fix the result if you have to get thousands of people to fiddle the system. That is a strength of the present system.

  158. 158
    Steve Miliband says:

    Ha ha!
    Too subtle for many on here

  159. 159
    One of Cherie Blairs legal chums says:

    Let’s try a test case, I can’t guarantee we will win but I CAN guarantee I will make loads of dosh paid out of the public purse and clog up the courts for years arguing my case.

  160. 160
    ERNIE says:

    Not when the tens of thousands of counters are left wing inclined public sector workers.

  161. 161
    billy the bumbiter says:

    sometimes I’m in and out without anyone noticing

  162. 162
    anon says:

    I used to be an electronic voting machine

    But I’m alright now

  163. 163
    Not everybody knows that says:

    The lad in the middle in the back row ( scooter) is Harry from Spooks.

  164. 164
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    Wouldn’t you be ill if you had to wake up next to Gordon every morning?

  165. 165

    Surely, the “deckchairs of democracy” decide the Titanic of government.

  166. 166
    Boris Johnson says:

    Can I suggest the Government send a fleet of Red double decker buses to bring our folks out of Libya. It would be a stirring sight seeing these Icons of British life forming a convey through the Sahara , perhaps even have jimmy page and leona Lewis performing on top of the lead vehicle. Stirring stuff and a great advert for the London Olympics. What do you say!

  167. 167
    Sir William Waad says:

    All voting reform appears frightening in prospect but obvious in retrospect.

  168. 168
    David Chaytor says:

    I’m appealing.

  169. 169
    speak for england says:

    Dave’s passionate about apologising

  170. 170
    Ice-Cold in Alex says:

    Captain van der Poel may scupper your plan.

  171. 171

    Shitting is a necessary part of human and animal metabolism. This troll fails even to pass that test.

  172. 172
    Ted says:

    No! It wath all Thatcher’th fault! She told me what quethtionth to athk!

  173. 173
    A Stitch in Time says:

    Can I suggest that the next time an Arab leader kicks off then the companies who have workers in that country get them out straight away rather than leaving it for the government to sort out.

  174. 174
  175. 175
    speak for england says:

    no longer a problem – Dave’s issued a passionate apology. He’s taking it seriously and is going to look into it.

  176. 176
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:

    Drug addict Damien Fowkes was held on suspicion of killing Colin Hatch at high-security Full Sutton Prison near York last night.

  177. 177
    speak for england says:

    only if they also send cliff richard, the shadows and una stubbs

  178. 178
    lions led by wankers says:

    “David Cameron has slapped down Nick Clegg’s suggestion that he is in charge while the prime minister is on a tour of the Gulf states.

    The Liberal Democrat deputy prime minister’s impression that he was holding the fort while Cameron toured the Middle East this week emerged during an interview with the free newspaper, Metro.

    Asked if he was in charge of the nation, Clegg told Metro: “Yeah, I suppose I am. I forgot about that.”

    He went on to say that talk of who was in charge was overblown in the modern era.

    “People forget there are emails and there is BlackBerry,” Clegg said.

    “I’m holding the fort but I’m hoping to take the end of the week off with my kids. Someone else will have to do it then. It sounds more haphazard than it probably is.”

    The prime minister dismissed Clegg’s comments as a “throwaway line” as he made clear that he remained in charge, regardless of where he was.

    Speaking from Oman on the final leg of his tour, Cameron told Sky News: “I’m not absent, that is the way government works. In the age of the BlackBerry, the telephone, the internet, just because I leave the country doesn’t mean I am not in charge.”

    born leaders of men

  179. 179

    To all those who ordered the ‘Sarah Palin Moose Hunter’ outfit, inflatable companion but accidentally received the ‘Sarah Brown Moose face’ inflatable sincere apologies.

    The Sarah Palin is unavailable but either the Bristol Palin or the Michael Palin model is now available.
    Alternatively there are still plenty of ‘Harriett Harman stormtroopers’ or the new ‘Jacqui Smith examines peep shows.’

    By way of compensation for the inconvenience a ‘What would Gordon do?’ t/shirt will be included with your new order free of charge.

    Kwang-GO industries

  180. 180

    If you can get a Beckham on board I’m in favour.

  181. 181
    Bob Crow says:

    Comrades! Socialism is the answer!

    Right. I’m off to my villa.

  182. 182
    Lefty socialist says:

    Lefties unite! Fight the cuts! Bring down the coalition! Support Labour! Join in solidarity with comrade Gaddafi! What’s that? Labour have suddenly disassociated themselves from the Colonel? Oh… um… er… Thatcher! It’s all Thatcher!

  183. 183
    Not My Fault Guv says:

    I am afraoid you are correct. Sarah’s book is an attempt to make Gordon look good against all the other books that portray him as a bullying madman.

    Her attacks on General Sir Richard Dannatt are in reality Sarah fighting Gordon’s battles. She casually writes:

    “Monday, September 28
    Much speculation about whether I will introduce Gordon on stage at the Labour party conference again this year — and even whether it is a good idea.

    He is pretty relaxed about it. So I sit down and draft what I want to say. Then I show it to [speech-writer] Kirsty McNeill, who adds the line, ‘my husband, my hero’.

    I don’t show the speech to Gordon as I think he will be quite happy.

    Thus absolving Gordon and Sarah of all responsibility for that sick making quote. It was someone elses fault and Gordon was not there when it was written anyway.

  184. 184
    I'm not Welsh says:

    When you marry an aging millionaire you can eat many a cake. W W W = Weird Welsh Woman

  185. 185
    Eeu to me says:

    I think the main problem is that the uncivil service is still full of Liebour placemen and women and see this as a hit on the coalition, they don’t care if people die in the process, it’s the same mindset had when he was in power, the worse one the the upping of the tax band for lower paid people just to get one over on the Torys, very sick.

  186. 186
    How much ? says:

    Brainless. How much money has to change hands to write such tripe ?

  187. 187

    His lawyer says so. But he will have to go inside because under English law, you must go to prison if you are innocent. You can’t be innocent anyway because there is no presumption of innocence. There is no need for evidence or even charges.

    Of course, this does not apply to MPs, as you might quite reasonably expect. That explains why the job is so popular, particularly amongst those who achieved nothing at school. There is no minimum test of ability or suitability, no educational requirements, no police checks into your past for criminal activity. On the other hand, you get a bloody good screw (sorry, you also get that, if you want), I mean a bloody good pay packet which is topped up with expenses, more expenses and, oh yes, more expenses still. Good seats at the theatre and restaurants. Free entry to just about anything you want, severance pay, inflation proof pension, nice little earners from the BBC, if your face fits, paid for travel so you don’t have to experience what the little people have to endure. There is no requirement even to turn up and do any work.

    So there is a sort of moral that hangs from this. Not a very moral moral, but you must look after number 1, mustn’t you? Cin cin!

  188. 188
    He deserves early release says:

    I think Mr Fowkes should recieve a pardon in recognition of killing a nonce.

  189. 189
    Mark Pack says:

    That’s an exceptionally easy challenge to meet Guido; you must be slipping :-)


  190. 190
    Prezza says:


  191. 191
    Guido's getting sloppy says:

    That’s about e-voting not electronic counting machines you absolute fool

  192. 192
    Andrew says:

    That will be Labours fault.
    Andrew Edinburgh

  193. 193
    Col. Gaddaffy says:

    Just as I thought it was going all right
    I found out I’m wrong
    When I thought I was right
    It’s always the same
    It’s just a shame
    That’s all

  194. 194
    Conservative councillor says:

    Council staff are from across the political spectrum and their ranks are sometimes supplemented by bank and building society staff hired for election night. The counting is done under the watchful eye of candidates and their representatives. It is a good, transparent system. It has produced outcomes of Left, Right and Centre.

  195. 195
    streamfisher says:

    And Cliff Richard singing Summer Holiday from the top of a routemaster

  196. 196
    Judith Chalmers says:

    I need to know Marcus Brigstocke’s opinion before I make up my mind.

  197. 197
    anon says:

    not a lot of prominence given to this article


    which suggests the elderly in Britain are not ‘suffering enough’ during the recession and the government plans to sort it. Exactly which planet are these bastards living on? Oh I know they’re only interested in themselves

  198. 198
    Gordon Brown says:

    Today I will be Sarah Brown.

  199. 199
    Andrew says:

    And we know who to blame U TURN DAVE ,for giving Nick Clegg his Av referendum when he didn,t have to ,but he was that scared of getting the sack after failing to win a majority he would have gave anything to get into #10
    Andrew Edinburgh

  200. 200
    Gordon Brown says:

    i was ok with my self image until i saw Bill Travers on the big screen

  201. 201
    John says:

    One of the McVicar clan, obviously.

  202. 202
    Postal Votes R Us says:

    Have you seen the price of printer ink lately ?

  203. 203
    mark oaten says:

    Jeremy Thorpe loosing his seat – a climax indeed!

  204. 204
    Believe it or not, his name is Damien FOWKES says:

  205. 205
    speak for england says:

    Dave’s passionate about this

  206. 206
    Titford Hat says:

    500 million is too many.

  207. 207
    Gordon Brown says:

    Wibble wibble. Sue’s fault.

  208. 208
    Billy Bowden is the greatest umpire ever ! says:


  209. 209
    Titford Hat says:

    …In a fit of depravity
    He filled the wrong cavity…

  210. 210
    Dentist says:

    I fart in your general direction.

  211. 211
    Engineer says:

    In that case, you could always smoke it yourself.

  212. 212
    Gordon Brown says:

    I cared about the poor. That’s why it’s Sue’s fault.

  213. 213
    richard and andy says:

    I’d smash it

  214. 214
    cheche says:


    The MSM are filling our screens with pics of expatriate brit workers stranded in Libya – is this because they dont want us to see pics of Labour worthies with the Gadaffi family perhaps you could oblige Guido

  215. 215
    Engineer says:

    I wonder which is more worrying; the thought that John Prescott or Mad Hattie Harperson consider themselves to be in charge, or the mild confusion caused by Clegg’s slightly startling quip.

    Actually, we all know that Gus O’Donnell’s in charge. Which is probably just as well – though he might have done a quicker job of getting people out of Libya.

  216. 216
    Sarah the beard says:

    You don’t really believe I would ever,ever, ever be in the same bed as him, foolish person.

  217. 217
    Hamza hamid and his 20,ooo postal votes says:

    It be against oour Human Rights = we make claims for more money if you try doing this.

  218. 218
  219. 219
    Engineer says:

    You’ve already posted that (at 12:04pm, post 99, lower down the thread). Cut-and-paste and multiple postings makes you look like a troll.

  220. 220
    Desperate Guido says:

    Have to say again thats one of the weakest arguments I’ve ever heard. Democracies with carefully thought out constitutions do better than ones without. Britain actually has quite a well thought out tradition on its democracy, but one just has to look at weimar germany or indeed as a less extreme example France where they have had a ridiculous number of different constitutions to show how the deckchairs of democracy matter.

    On your other point, Franco was opposed to communism, Franco was usually wrong, does that make opposing Communism wrong Guido? Thought not…

    Plus look at some of the people in the No camp, John Prescott, Caroline Flint, Hazel Blears, John Reid. They’re almost always wrong, so by your argument, you should both support and oppose AV.

  221. 221
    Right of right wing says:

    Although I am not a Conservative voter, I have to say that Cameron is a gentleman – how sad that it is entirely wasted on the zillions of chavs etc., in the country.

  222. 222
    Tell it like it really is says:

    Surely IMHO now is the time to be building sufficient nuclear power plants, where is the electricity supposed to come from for the electric powered cars we will all have to buy? We are no further forward in stopping the country being potentially held to ransom by crazy sand f**kwits than we were 30+ years ago.

  223. 223
    Stop whining, seriously, its getting boring says:

    If you don’t like it, go find a wealthy benefactor to bankroll No2AV in return for kickbacks and Ermine after the referendum.

  224. 224
    Tell it like it really is says:

    Have to ask, is his surname spelt correctly……….just wondering, relatives and all that :)

  225. 225
    Craigoh says:

    Well, as I understand it, the Aussies have been using AV for 80 years. Without need of machines.

    So, are you telling me Guido, that Aussies can Count to Ten – but Brits can’t??

    I know ZaNu Labour well and truly wrecked the schools of this country (and much else besides), but seriously…

  226. 226
    Desperate Guido says:

    Only posted it twice to make sure Guido noticed it, and he did, still hasnt replied to my reply to him though…

  227. 227
    Magdas War says:

    She also denies that Brown said Obama Beach , it only sounded like he did. What a load of shit.

  228. 228
    Tell it like it really is says:

    Ghadaffi entertained Blair
    An extremely odious pair
    When the country revolted
    Our Tone had bolted
    “I’m rich now, why should I care”.

  229. 229
    Ear Ache says:

    I had one of those in the 70s. I used to call it my tranny. Up to the minute with the gear, me.

  230. 230
    Magdas War says:

    But it’s only when you read Magdas version that the true picture emerges. My Hero.

  231. 231
    Elephant says:

    Part of this money will go to a PR consultant who is a personal friend of the minister responsible but is definitely not shagging him.

    Once this bit is cleared up, it will emerge that the machines produce no audit trail. This means the vote is open to challenge under the Human Rights Act, so the scheme will be suspended. The machines will go into storage, which will cost another £11 million.

    Someone will suggest that they go into schools to be used in history projects, before they are finally scrapped at a cost of an extra £5 million. No one will lose their jobs over this fiasco.

    That’s how we did it in Ireland anyway.

  232. 232
    Desperate Guido says:

    No reply? Saw your exchange with Mark Pack as well Guido. Normally I find your blog quite amusing and intelligent… really dropped the ball on this AV lark Guido.

  233. 233
    Moderator says:

    There isn’t many things barred on here but Phil Collins is one of them !

  234. 234
    sally's gorgeous gusset says:

    Sir, I salute your indefatigability.

  235. 235
    John Adlington says:

    I’ve never missed a chance to vote in the past. I voted Tory in the last election hoping that all the libertarian and anti-EU rhetoric might come to something but it just seems like more of the same rubbish.

    BTW I voted UKIP in the last EU elections but I am fundamentally opposed to the list system for domestic elections as the people at the top of the list are the most “on message” lobby fodder.

    Honestly, what is the point?

  236. 236
  237. 237
    Confused voter says:

    This one:

    Labour Students

    Labour Students is the student wing of the Labour Party and is home for all students in further and higher education in the UK

    39 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0HA
    Tel: 08705 900200


    Or this one?

    BAME Labour

    BAME Labour seeks to empower ethnic minority members within the Labour Party and campaigns for greater representation of ethnic minority communities in public life.

    Chair: Ahmed Shahzad
    39 Victoria Street, London SW1H 0HA

    blamelabour.co.uk appears to be available fior registration, if anyone’s interested.

  238. 238
  239. 239

    And they normally speak so well in Edinburgh.

  240. 240
    Anonymous says:

    Ireland tried electronic voting but gave it up because you could not trust the lack of a paper trail. Labour postal votes anyone?

  241. 241
    Mr Penrose says:

    The Weakist Link backing the Leakist Wink?

  242. 242
    tory boys never grow up says:

    Was that aimed at me? If so do you want to come outside Tory lickspittle? My mate Ed (they’re all called Ed nowadays) would also like a word as well.

  243. 243
    Tapestry says:

    That’s exactly why they want it. Election results can be keyed in and made to match the detailed voting with ease. They are not counting machines, but cheating machines, where one controller at a PC can decide the election result, and no one can know where the cheating was done.

    By having counting centres, the people at that level take responbsibility for their count. You need a lot of ”people” in place in local authorities to rig a seat, which is not impossible, but needs a lot of management.

    BY making the whole election linked up to one information system, there is only a single point of control at the top.

    If anything there should be more counting centres not less. Each polling station should do its own count, and communicate its results to a central counting location, and at the same time, the information should be copied to the media, so that all news organisations can do their own count at the same time. That way the opportunities to rig seats would be reduced not increased, as will be the case with electoral machination. The very word means rigging, does it not?

  244. 244

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Boris on British Jihadis. Apparently based on MI5 intel:

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