Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Single transferable vote in local and national elections

Mohajan, Haradhan (2011): Single transferable vote in local and national elections. Published in: International Journal of Strategic Organization and Behavioural Science , Vol. 2, No. 2 (31 December 2012): pp. 3-18.


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The single transferable vote (STV) is a system of preferential voting designed to minimize wasted votes. In STV, a constituency elects two or more representatives per electorate. As a result the constituency is proportionally larger than a single member constituency from each party. Political parties tend to offer as many candidates as they most optimistically could expect to win; the major parties may nominate almost as many candidates as there are seats, while the minor parties and independents rather fewer. STV initially allocates an elector’s vote for her most preferred candidate and then, after candidate have been either elected or eliminated, transfers surplus or unused votes according to the voter’s stated preferences (ties disallowed). The paper deals with different STV counting methods so that one can compare among them and analyze advantages and drawbacks of them. Since in STV ties are disallowed, so that tie-breaking in STV is important and are discussed in some details. In STV manipulation of voting is sometimes possible and this paper has taken an attempt to give a clear concept of STV manipulation.

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