A second referendum conducted under AV maybe the only way to end the Brexit impasse

A second referendum conducted under AV maybe the only way to end the Brexit impasse

If Parliament is unable to come to a resolution on Brexit then perhaps they might send it back to the people.

Recents events makes me think we’re headed for another referendum on all things Brexit, so the only question and options is what will be on the ballot paper.

Why I think a Remain option will end up on the ballot paper is twofold. Firstly Parliament has to legislate for another referendum and given the the make up of Parliament there will be a desire to have that option on the ballot paper.

Secondly is what the polling tells us is a very popular option when it comes to Brexit not being on the ballot paper then you can see a co-ordinated plan to spoil the ballot paper which would indicate support for Remain.

If you think we’re facing a democratic crisis now just imagine if spoiled ballots receives more ‘votes’ than the winning outcome, particularly if spoiled ballots ‘polls’ 17,410,743 or more.

What makes the alternative vote really attractive apart is that it forces compromises when binary choices limits nuances and precision. The errors from the 2016 referendum are unlikely to repeated with the various options having to spell out their plans. As experts have noted 

[AV] encourages candidates to chase second and third-preferences, which lessens the need for negative campaigning (one doesn’t want to alienate the supporters of another candidate whose second preferences one wants) and rewards broad-church policies.

One of the issues of Brexit is that right now there’s no homogenous view on what Brexit actually means even amongst senior Brexiteers. The two front men of the Vote Leave campaign Michael Gove and Boris Johnson view Theresa May’s deal as either an acceptable compromise or the modern day Whore of Babylon. A referendum with explicit choices for the voters will help clarify things and give MPs a steer on how to respond.

As another prominent Brexiteer put it ‘If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to be a democracy’, Brexiteers shouldn’t be afraid of more democracy, enough of them said they’d would have campaigned to overturn the referendum result if Remain had won in 2016, especially narrowly.


PS – One of life’s amusing stats is that AV referendum was lost by a similar percentage that Leave lost the 1975 referendum, fans of electoral reform will be warmed by that and be optimistic that the archaic first past the post system will eventually be replaced.

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