Re: @ Mahatma Coat
"A perfect/worst case example: Silvio Berlusconi, kept in power by a corrupt "AV" voting system where you have absolutely no say in who actually gets elected at all, you just get to choose the proportion of MP's taken from each party."
Italy uses a kind of PR, it's not even vaguely related to AV. (And Party-list representation is generally considered a rather poor form of PR.)
AV is "I want candidate A. If I can't have A, then I want B.".
This is trivial to understand by anyone who's ever asked someone to pop to the local shop to get some biscuits.
"I'd like chocolate hobnobs, if they don't have any then ginger nuts are fine."
AV allows you to vote for the one you want, and to say which alternative you can live with.
FPTP forces you to vote 'tactically' - you cannot vote for the one you want, you have to vote against the one you hate.
Unfortunately both Labour and the Conservatives knew damn well that AV would damage their future prospects so launched a massive FUD campaign against AV.
Did you notice that the entire against argument was "AV costs too much", "You're too thick to understand AV", "It might cause hung Parliaments"?
No reasoning. In fact nobody ever gave a single indication as to why AV would be a worse way to choose your MP than FPTP.
- Incidentally, the reason FPTP reduces the chance of Hung Parliaments is because it results in a two-party system for each candidacy.
Look at your local polls - there will only be two parties that stand a chance in your constituency. Mine happens to be Labour/Conservative, like most. Sheffield Hallam (Clegg's) is Liberal Democrat/Conservative.