The main cost of adopting AV is in explaining exactly how to rank their preferences on the ballot paper (whichever method is chosen). The NO campaign leaflet puts this cost at £26 million, which may be a bit steep!
However, the NO campaign claimed:
- The cost of the referendum is included, which would put the cost of sticking with FPTP as £91 million (quoted on our front page).
- Voting machines are included, when even a large country like Australia manages to run AV without them.
- As noted above, £26 million to explain things to voters may be a bit steep, but let that figure stand for a minute…
- That leaves £3 million unaccounted for, which seems to have been included to make up the magic £250 million figure.
In short, the NO campaign is overstating the cost of AV by as much as 10 times.
If you include the cost of the referendum, the NO campaign’s figures put AV at £117 million, adding 29% to the cost of FPTP.
Obviously, the NO campaign has a vested interest in making that figure as large as possible…