Eddie Izzard – saying Yes2AV all over Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter

Within an hour or so at landing at Belfast City Airport on the latest stop in his non-stop campaign schedule, Eddie Izzard had been greeted by Dawn Purvis (who’s in favour of AV), had a look inside the Black Box, given a pep talk to runners in tomorrow’s Belfast Marathon, met leading politicians from local parties supporting AV and retired to Malmaison for a purple (non-alcoholic) cocktail … as well as spontaneously canvassing numerous passers – even the receptionist at the Malmaison – about the merits of voting Yes to AV on Thursday 5th May.

Asked why he was supporting the switch to Alternative Vote, Izzard replied:

I think it’s a fairer system … I think it’s going to make MPs work harder for us … MPs will not only talk to their core campaign support but they’ll have to talk around it and get second choice votes, I think that’s better.

Northern Ireland voters are used to voting 1,2,3 in STV elections. But voter turnout is potentially a growing problem. Could AV do anything for engagement?

There’re a lot of people around the UK who feel this is a safe seat and I disagree with the politics of the person sitting in this seat so I’m not even going to bother voting. This gives them more of a chance.

At nearly all stages, a purple “Yes” speech bubble appeared behind the comic’s head. If there was a prize for maximising the number of purple-themed photo-opportunities within an hour, the Yes2AV campaign might be looking more hopeful than they are in the upcoming referendum.

Has anyone seen a fish?

Eddie Izzard giving some of tomorrow's marathon runners a quick pep talk

Representatives from local parties supporting AV meeting Eddie Izzard

Malmaison barman pouring a purple cocktail for Eddie Izzard #Yes2AV

Eddie Izzard sipping a purple cocktail in Malmaison #Yes2AV

Feel free to suggest captions for the photo immediately below. I’ll start with

“AV seeks to release the political roadblock?”

or

“Building a new style of politics?”

Eddie Izzard attempting to release political roadblock by backing Yes2AV campaign?
At one point, Alex Huston – 17 year old election agent campaign director for 18 year old independent Assembly candidate Stephen Stewart in East Belfast – interrupted proceedings to challenge Izzard about the downsides of AV. However, I think it’s fair to say the comic was under-impressed with the pinstriped youth’s argument.