alternative vote

Quick Reference

A procedure for selecting a candidate who can command a majority. Voters rank the candidates. First preferences are counted, and any candidate with more than half of them is declared elected. If no candidate is elected, the candidate with fewest first preferences is eliminated and their votes redistributed; this is repeated as often as required until a candidate wins more than half of the valid votes cast. (The process of vote transfers is similar to the single transferable vote used in multi‐member constituencies.)

AV is used in the lower house of the Australian parliament. Its near relations, double‐ballot and exhaustive ballot, are used respectively in French national elections and in British trade‐union and Labour Party internal elections. As they are majoritarian, not proportional systems, they do not achieve proportionality in multimember assemblies. They also may fail to select the Condorcet winner, and are thus far from ideal majoritarian schemes.

Subjects: Politics.

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