Friday, May 6, 2011

UK citizens decide whether to change its voting system

UK citizens today choose the new composition of regional parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland also participated in partial local elections in England and a referendum on a new voting system for the whole country. This is known as Alternative Vote, which would replace the traditional simple majority and that allows voters to vote for several candidates in order of preference.

This will remove the candidates least voted and would share the second preferences of those who voted among the rest until one of them wins an absolute majority. The referendum on the new voting system, which is considered more representative than the current, was the condition put the Liberal Democrats to enter a coalition government with the conservative Prime Minister David Cameron.

The latter party has made a strong campaign against the alternative vote, while Labour are divided: while its leader, Ed Miliband, has openly advocated, other party heavyweights have joined the Tories to attack. The latest polls give the loser the Alternative Vote-by 'The Guardian', 68% would vote "no" - which would mean a major setback for the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, and strengthen the Tories in Government coalition.

The Liberal Democrats, worn out by their association with the conservatives and the general perception that low-heeled Clegg are too far right and have failed many of its pre-election promises, would also suffer heavy losses in municipal elections and in the regional. According to recent polls, Nick Clegg's party could lose more than 300 seats in the local English-some believe that the losses could be even double-benefit of Labour.

In Northern Ireland, the Democratic Unionist Party's chief minister, Peter Robinson, and the nationalist Sinn Fein, political wing of the old and inactive IRA, which currently governs in coalition, measure their strength once again and everything seems to indicate no change important. In Scotland, the Scottish National Party (SNP), the First Minister Alex Salmond, who has moderated somewhat lately his independence speech, is considered favorite and could even increase its lead over Labour.

In Wales, however, Labour, which until now govern with the nationalist Plaid Cymru, could benefit from his strong criticism of government spending cuts imposed by central government of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and increase their number of seats in the regional parliament to achieve even its first absolute majority.

The polling stations that opened this morning at 6.00 am GMT in the country, not close until 21.00 GMT, but the first official results will not be known until well into Friday.

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