Alex Feakes as MP for Lewisham West and Penge? Jim Dowd defeated at a General Election?
Not if the AV system of voting had been in operation at last year’s General Election according to an academic study by British Election Study Data.
Despite a seemingly safe majority of 5,828 for Jim Dowd under the simple majority system at the last General Election, if AV had been in operation Lib-Dem cadidate Alex Feakes would have secured enough second preference votes in the constituency to have won the seat.
Academics from the University of Essex and from the University of Dallas, Texas found that 50% of Conservative voters and 59% of Labour voters in the south-east of Britain would have given their second preference vote to the Lib-Dems. In Lewisham West and Penge this would have resulted in Jim Dowd losing his seat to Alex Feakes.
Overall, the study found that AV would have given the south-east 10 different MPs if it had been in operation at last year’s General Election. Labour would have lost four seats (including Lewisham West) to the Lib Dems; the Conservatives would have lost three seats to Labour and the Conservatives would have lost four four seats to the Lib Dems.
The Conservatives would have gained no new seats in the south east under the AV system backing up the long-established view of pollsters that there are “simply very few second preference votes for the Tories”.