Will AV mean “second-best” candidates get elected?

The NO campaign claim:

The second or third best can win under AV

This is playing tricks with words. Under that part of their leaflet, the NO campaign modify this claim to:

Under AV the votes of the least popular candidate can decide who wins the election - this can mean the candidate who was second or third when the votes were first counted becomes the winner.

If none of the candidates has the support of more than 50% of the voters to start with, they shouldn’t win a seat in parliament outright; that’s not what you’d call the “best” representative in a democracy. And once a candidate is eliminated under AV, those votes are no longer counted for that candidate. Just like in the X Factor or Strictly Come Dancing, when your preferred candidate is eliminated, you decide who you prefer instead, and everyone’s votes are counted again.

When a candidate is able to secure a true majority, they are elected under AV – that’s the best candidate for the voters, no matter who you might think it should be.

Welcome to democracy; we elect representatives, we’re not governed by sports analogies!

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