A Quick Guide to the Alternative Vote

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One Response to A Quick Guide to the Alternative Vote

  1. I think one of the greatest advantages of the alternative voting system over first past the post is how it deals with vote splitting.

    As the Alternative Vote is a preferential system that allows voters to rank candidates voters no longer have to guess which of two similar candidates everyone else is going to vote for. Under first past the post if three candidates run for office, two similar candidates A & B and one very different C there is a significant risk that under first past the post their vote for A/B will be split. This is a big disadvantage of first past the post. Suppose A polls 32%, B 32% and C 34%. Under First Past the Post, C wins, despite 64% of the population wanting a candidate like A or B.

    Using the Alternative Vote first preference for candidate A and a second preference for Candidate B (both similar in outlook) or a first preference for B and a second preference for A will have the effect of demonstrating the majorities support for a candidate like A or B.

    I talk a little bit about the mechanics of how the big advantage of the alternative vote, the removal of vote splitting, works in practise here

    http://fairervotesedinburgh.wordpress.com/2010/11/16/the-alternative-vote-and-small-parties-part-i/

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