An alternative to ‘first past the post’

ALONGSIDE the Calderdale Council election there will be a referendum inviting the electorate to have their say on the Alternative Vote.

The referendum is on the voting system used for elections to the UK Parliament and the question being put to voters on May 5 is whether they still favour the current first past the post system of electingy MPs to the House of Commons or shouldthe AV system be used instead. Voters will be handed a ballot paper at their local polling station when they vote in the council election.

The AV system asks voters to rank candidates in order of preference. To start with only the first preference votes are counted and if a candidate receives more than 50 per cent of the votes they are elected. If that doesn’t happen then the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and the votes for their second choice are added to the rest of the results.

If one candidate then has more than 50 per cent they are elected. If not, then, the lowest ranking candidate is eliminated and their votes for their second or third choice are shared out.

This continues until someone has more than 50 per cent. That’s it.