I should open by saying I’m in the Yes camp when it comes to AV because I don’t think FPTP has delivered particularly well over the last few decades. It certainly hasn’t helped with marginalised groups in parliament.
However, one “bonus” of AV is that a potential MP needs to maintain at least some level of support amongst 50% of their constituents. It occurs to me that if a candidate is a member of a minority group (I myself am Trans and a bi-curious lesbian for example, I would imagine the situation could be as bad or worse in certain areas for anyone who looks a bit foreign) then they instantly lose some proportion of support.
I suspect this does not matter so much with FPTP because first choice votes are less likely to be affected. Someone whose first preference vote is the BNP who would otherwise vote Tory might not list a second choice just because the Conservatives put up a candidate who is only second/third generation British.
I would imagine the situation improves dramatically with STV however – with bigger constituencies, there will be more members of a given group and thus it’s easier for a candidate supported by a marginalised group to get the necessary votes to gain a seat.
I doubt we’ll see this mentioned by the No camp because they mostly seem to be old-school and unlikely to be “in” with equality, but I’d appreciate knowing what others think about this. Is consideration of second and third choice votes likely to affect how panels choose candidates in 2015, 2020 and beyond?