UK - Lord Jenkin's Proposals

New Democracy donald at
Wed Sep 23 08:21:40 PDT 1998

>The BBC has an explanation of the "Alternative
>Vote-Plus" system which the Jenkins commission is
>expected to endorse next month.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - Text from web site - - - - - - - - - - - -

Monday, September 21, 1998 Published at 19:54 GMT 20:54 UK
    UK Politics: Talking Politics
    Voting reform: the plans

    Bill Bush, Head of Political Research at the BBC, explains how the
alternative vote system works.
    Well-informed speculation suggests that the Jenkins Commission will
recommend a voting system called "AV Plus"
    AV Plus is a hybrid of two separate voting methods. "AV" (Alternative
Vote) is a system of electing MPs for constituencies, the "Plus" is a
system of topping-up from a list to achieve something nearer

    Casting a Vote
    Voters have two votes. The first, for the locally-elected MP, asks the
voter to rank the candidates in order of preference: i.e. 1, 2, 3, etc.
    The second, for the top-up list, asks the voter to vote for their
preferred party (if the party lists are 'closed').
    To be elected in a constituency seat, a candidate needs over 50% of the
votes. If no-one gets enough first preference votes candidates with the
fewest votes are knocked out and their second preferences are
redistributed. This continues until one candidate reaches the 50%+1 winning

    The second votes are then counted to give the level of support for each
party in a county or region. If a party has only managed to win a few
constituency seats, they get top-up seats to get their final total more in
line with their vote share.

    In theory, the party lists for the top-up seats could be open or closed.
    If open, then voters can pick between candidates from the same party,
rather than opting for a party choice. However if closed, the party has
complete control over the ranking. No-one expects the commission to
recommend open lists.
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