In 2010 the left-wing think-tank IPPR was vociferously arguing against the Alternative Vote system, putting out pamphlet after pamphlet decrying AV. IPPR boast that it prides itself on “rigorous and innovative research… based on sound evidence”.
Their research conclusions were blunt: “IPPR does not believe AV is the right option for the UK.” AV they concluded was “significantly flawed” and would not “deliver results which are sufficiently proportional”.
“Simply put, AV would not remove the bias of the current system towards the largest party or parties and in some instances it would further reinforce the status quo”.
IPPR made a clear evidence based case against AV.
In 2011 the Yes campaign funders, the Joseph Rowntree group of organisations dominated by LibDems to such an extent that they bunged over £2 million pounds to the party before the last election, gave the cash-strapped IPPR £70,000.
Now, by coincidence, IPPR argues in an astonishing about turn that “AV will make elections more competitive.” “AV goes with the grain of contemporary British politics.” They have even spent money on push-polling and, unusually for a supposedly apolitical charitable think-tank, they have thrown themselves fully behind the Yes campaign politically. Odd when only last year they claimed: “Changing to a system which could deliver even more distorted results than FPTP is surely not the answer for those looking for genuine reform.” Guido wonders what made them change their mind?