§ Dr. Julian Lewis
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) what assessment he has made of the desirability of adopting(a) proportional representation or (b) an alternative vote system for Westminster parliamentary elections; 
(2) what assessment he has made of the effect of introducing an alternative vote system in UK parliamentary elections on the degree of proportionality between votes cast and hon. Members returned. 
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
The Government have not made such an assessment of the alternative vote (AV) system. The Independent Commission on the Voting System proposed that its recommended system, AV plus, be put before the electorate in a referendum as an alternative to first-past-the-post. While no change will be made to the voting system without an endorsement by the general public in a referendum, a decision has yet to be made as to its timing and the question to be asked.
§ Miss Widdecombe
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of alternative voting arrangements at the May 2000 local elections under the provisions of the Representation of the People Act 2000; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Straw
[holding answer 26 October 2000]: My Department has received reports from all the local authorities which ran pilot schemes under the terms of the Representation of the People Act 2000.
Copies have been placed in the Library and are accessible on the Home Office website. We are considering their conclusions, in consultation with electoral administration and local authority associations.
Applications to run pilot schemes in May 2001 have been invited.