Richmond Park and North Kingston MP Zac Goldsmith has added his name to a letter by 20 newly-elected Conservative and Labour MPs opposing changes to the voting system.

The Government will hold a referendum on May 5, 2011 on replacing the current first past the post method of electing MPs with the alternative vote (AV).

AV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, and votes from less popular candidates are redistributed until one person receives 50 per cent of the vote and is elected.

Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will not support the the proposed change, while his Liberal Democrat deputy Nick Clegg will campaign in favour.

In the letter, the MPs said voters had not raised the voting system during the election campaign.

They said: “Our country faces significant challenges. We have our differences on how they should be tackled, but those challenges will not be overcome by dismantling our voting system and replacing it with a complex alternative that nobody wants.

“We are all agreed on the need to rebuild trust between the public and the politicians who represent them. Their priorities must be our priorities. Scrapping our voting system is not their priority. Nor is it ours.

“That’s why we will be voting no on 5 May.”