AV questions

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It is unusual for me to write to a paper but the vote on AV prompts me. I have always voted, but I am worried about the referendum. Will non-votes be counted as a yes or no? If less than 50% of the total vote can the process be continued? If I only select one candidate, as I do not want any of the others, what happens to my vote? Can someone also tell me how and why was the term of office for a Government set at five years? Did I miss the debate?

HGJ