Gordon has had a cracking idea of how to win an election, and the detail on LibDem Voice makes horrifying reading for any Conservative - or perhaps I should say horrifying reading for anyone who hates the idea of electoral gerrymandering. If LibDem Voice is right - and I have some doubts which I will explain in a moment - the result of the last election under the Alternative Vote system would have been...
Labour 365 (+16 on FPTP); Conservatives 172 (-38 on FPTP); Liberal Democrats 89 (+27 on FPTP); Plaid Cymru 5 (+2 on FPTP); Scottish National Party 7 (+1 on FPTP).
This is predicated on most Labour voters transferring their second preferences to the LibDems and vice versa. Of course, in reality it wouldn't be like that. Many Labour voters hate the LibDems more than they hate the Conservatives. Many LibDems would rather support a Conservative than a Labour candidate.
I don't pretend that our current electoral system is totally fair, but it's the best one anyone has come up with. On the face of it the AV system maintains the constituency link, which very few other forms of PR do, but do we really want to be governed by a whole raft of politicians who are the second choice of most but the first choice of few?
I am not philosophically opposed to electoral reform. I can certainly support it in local government, and probably for a reformed House of Lords. But I have yet to be convinced that any of the proposed systems for the House of Commons would either be fair or work. Convince me.