Billy Bragg lends his support

At a demonstration against the government cutback in Dorchester on 12 March, Richard Denton-White of Fair Votes for Dorset met and had a chat with Billy Bragg. Having explained what Fair Votes for DOrset were trying to achieve, Billy confirmed that he would attend our events during April and May when he is available.

Our events listings will be amended when we know which events he will be able to attend.


28/02/2011 at 12:17 2 comments

Youth Says Yes

Tim Williamson and Richard Denton-White gave a well recieved presentation on AV and reasons for voting yes on 5th May at a packed Upper 6th Assembly at Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester on Friday 11th February. The hall was packed with 370 students and teaching staff. A question and answer session showed a ready gip of the issues, and teaching staff were impressed with the rapport the speakers struck up with the students.

Teaching staff suggested that it would be good if all 6 forms in Dorset could receive the same presentation and Q and A session from Fair Votes for Dorset. We will endeavour to visit those schools who are interested.

28/02/2011 at 12:10 2 comments

Success in Lyme

Richard Denton-White speaks to the Lyme meeting

Fair Votes for Dorset ran a demonstration of an AV election at an event in the Woodmead Hall, Lyme Regis on Monday 10th January, based on popular movies, to show people from the local community how the Alternative Vote system works. Richard Denton-White, Chair of Fair Votes for Dorset and Tim Kent, Regional Organiser for Yes to Fairer Votes addressed 30 people including Labour, Green, Lib Dem supporters and, significantly, 4 paid up Tories including a local Borough Councillor. Fair Votes for Dorset gained a further 7 members, and the event organiser, Ann Sargent is noe determined to set up a local group in Lyme Regis to actively promote a Yes voter to AV on May 5th.

Richard Denton-White says ” We were very encouraged by the positive response from the Tories att he meeting. Importantly 30% of electors who voted Tory at last May’s General Election now support changing the way we elect our MPs.”

16/01/2011 at 10:56 Leave a comment

Fair Votes for Dorset well received at Bridport Labour Party Meeting

Richard Denton-White addressing the Bridport Labour Party meeting

A recent meeting of the Bridport Labour Party included a speech on electoral reform and the importance of a yes vote in the referendum on the AV system in May 2011. Richard Denton-White of Fair Votes for Dorset sparked a lively debate and no doubt some new supporters of the ‘yes’ campaign.

21/12/2010 at 13:02 Leave a comment

Pimperne blizzard doesn’t dampen spirits!

Fair Votes for Dorset speak at the North Dorset Lib-Dem AGM 

A Fair Votes For Dorset Team , consisting of Tim Williamson from Bath, Matthew Coussell from Ferndown, Susan Stone from Bere Regis and Richard Shrubb & Richard Denton-White from South Dorset drove up to Pimperne Village Hall through snow flurries to push home the Fair Votes message to North Dorset’s Liberal Democrat AGM on Friday 26th November. 

Tim Williamson’s power point presentation on the Alternative Vote and Richard Denton-White’s speech were generally well received by a group of well seasoned party campaigners  : and it seems likely now that the Yes Vote message will feature in their Election literature next Spring. There is additionally the hope that they might consider doing a joint public meeting with other groups such as the Green Party, possibly in Shaftesbury, during next year’s Referendum campaign? 

The FV4D Team recruited 3 new members, including a Dorset County Councillor and Sue Bennett, the outgoing Chair, who very generously gave the FV4D campaign £20. Sue had organised the AGM and our active presence there. Thanks Sue !

Richard Shrubb filmed the event, which can be accessed at

01/12/2010 at 18:33 Leave a comment

Dorchester Mock Election: The Result

A Clear Win For Harry In Dorchester Mock Election !

Fair Votes For Dorset Returning Officer David Smith has declared Harry Redknapp the clear winner in the recent Mock Election. Fair Votes For Dorset are the local, cross-party supported organisation campaigning for a Yes Vote in next May’s Referendum on changing the voting system. The Fair Votes team set up a polling booth in South Street,Dorchester and during the morning asked shoppers to choose between Harry Redknapp, Jose Morinho, Fabio Capello, Sven Erikssson and Arsene Wenger for next England Football Manager in order to give them hands on experience of using the Alternative Voting system, as well as the more familiar First Past The Post system which is currently in use in elections locally and nationally. 

‘Popular Spurs Manager Harry Redknapp won comfortably under First Past The Post with 28 votes,’ said organiser Mr.Smith : ‘And it looked as if Redknapp had steamed past his rivals with 27 first preferences under the Alternative Vote system too : but a late surge for Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger changed the goalposts briefly. However, when fifth placed candidate Morinho’s 5 second preferences were transferred it took Harry past the 28 quota with 30 votes.I can give anyone who’s interested the full poll figures from both systems that we used in what was a ‘pilot’ Mock Election.I’m sure Fair Votes will organise similar mock elections in the coming weeks and months.People need to know the Referendum options, to make an informed choice next year.’  

The full results were as follows:

Capello  4
Eriksson 10
Morinho 4
Redknapp 26 clear winner
Wenger 10

AV 1st Preferences
Capello  5
Eriksson 10
Morinho 4
Redknapp 27
Wenger 9
quota 28

In early voting it looked as though Redknapp would win on 1st preferences. However there was late support for Wenger. This meant that the goalpost rose and Redknapp was 1 short of the quota – he needed to get more than 50%. Morinho as the weakest candidate was therefore excluded. 3 of his votes transfered to Redknapp, thus pushing his vote up to 30 thus exceeding the quota and winning.

AV votes after exclusion of Morinho
Capello  5
Eriksson 10
Morinho 0
Redknapp 30 winner
Wenger 10
quota 28

In this case Redknapp was a pretty clear winner on either system. In many situations the candidate with the most 1st preferences, but who fails to get 50% is unacceptable to the majority of voters. In such cases votes transfer to more acceptable candidates, and one or these forges ahead and wins.

In many First Past The Post elections the winning candidate doesn’t command anything like 50 % of the popular vote share in a given parliamentary constituency, local government ward or county division.A clear majority of electors may reject a particular candidate and yet be saddled with them as their representative;because of the split votes and tactical voting which are endemic under the First Past The Post system.Citizens are often voting for the least bad option, rather than choosing what they actually want !The Alternative Voting system works by transferring peoples’ second, third, fourth and fifth preferences to determine a candidate with at least 50% of the vote share in a given ward, division or constituency- ie a clear majority.

You can view a video of the Mock Election at

‘We’re talking a new kind of democratically accountable politics here,’ said Fair Votes For Dorset Chair Richard Denton-White:’ Our next England Football Manager Dorchester Mock Election was just a bit  of fun and undoudtedly Harry ‘One Liner’ Redknapp was bound to do well after England’s poor showing in South Africa.I’m sure he’ll be flattered that he won the popular vote and I’ll drop him a ‘one liner’ inviting him to get ‘between the sticks’ for our Yes Vote Campaign : although as a Pompey fan I ‘ll want a guarantee that he’s not off to another ‘outfit’ before May 5th next year !’

Fair Votes For Dorset are recruiting new campaigners on a regular basis in readiness for 2011’s Referendum battles. Anyone who is interested in backing them can phone Membership Secretary Matthew Coussell (29) on 01202-874401 or their Treasurer on 01305-815965.They need hard cash for their literature and committed activists for their continuing campaign.

We are plann ing an ambitious ‘Democracy Day’ at Portsmouth University Students’ Union in November and a 3 course Christmas Dinner in Dorchester, at a well loved pub, sit down at 8.30pm,( after their ‘core’ group meeting,) on Thursday 2nd December, with a Christmas ‘Goodies’ Auction and a mystery after dinner speaker. Tickets are a competitive £15 per head and you can book with Richard Denton-White either by phoning him on 01305-826724 or emailing

30/10/2010 at 10:42 Leave a comment

Do you think MPs are doing a good job representing the people who elected them?

 We don’t think so…..

  • Why don’t our MPs force the government to listen to us?
  • Why is so much legislation ill thought out?
  • When government departments screw up, why is no one normally held accountable?

03/10/2010 at 17:13

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