The real strength of Alternative Vote over first past the post is in individual constituencies, especially in contests where the leading candidate falls well short of a majority. AV won’t change the face of national politics. But in some constituencies it will ensure the election of representatives who can lay greater claim to representing the majority view within the local electorate.
I am appalled at the amount of misleading material coming out of the NO2AV campaign. But some "yes" campaigners are guilty of over-simplifying the issues. One example: the promise that there would no safe seats under AV.
In this post, Antony Green, the ABC's highly respected elections expert, comments on the experiences of NSW and Queensland. Those two states are very relevant, because they use the form of AV that the UK will vote on next month.
Green concludes that AV would not change the face of UK politics, but that it would have an impact in three- and four-cornered contests, and in constituencies where candidates would be elected under FPTP without the support of a majority of electors.