# [EM] 12/22/02 - Markus Schulze Wrote and Wrote again:

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Sun Dec 22 09:21:51 PST 2002

```Donald asked of Markus:
> Because you have claimed the Northern Ireland method to be the best, I am
> going to assume that you know enough about the method to be able to tell us
> some details, like total number of seats and how many districts (if it is a
> district method).
>
> If you would be so kind as to give us that information, we will be able to
> calculate how many wasted votes there will be in the method.

I can offer the following info about district magnitudes and wasted votes:
Northern Ireland uses STV-PR for three of its four public elections.

European Parliament
===============
Three MEPs elected from one constituency comprising the whole Province.
For results see
http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/publications/statistics/ni.htm

Northern Ireland Assembly
===================
108 members elected from 18 constituencies each returning 6 members.
For a summary of the results see
http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/publications/statistics/niassembly.htm

Overall summaries based on first-preference votes must be interpreted with care.
STV-PR guarantees PR only WITHIN individual constituencies (US = districts).
Although constituencies of 6 members guarantee representation only to groups that
can secure at least one-seventh of the vote within a district, groups with much
less overall support usually do gain representation in STV-PR elections, eg the
Northern Ireland Women's Coalition, with 2% of the first-preference votes and 2%
of the seats.

In an STV-PR election the actual proportion of wasted votes cannot be calculated
simply from the district magnitude (number of members per district).  With 6
members, representation is guaranteed to 85.7% of the voters (6/7), ie up to 14.3%
of those who vote may have their votes wasted.  But in actual STV-PR elections the
proportion of wasted votes is usually much smaller.  In the 1999 election to the
NI Assembly the distribution of wasted votes was as follows.
>2% <3%   3 constituencies
>3% <4%   2 constituencies
>4% <5%   2 constituencies
>5% <6%   5 constituencies
>6% <7%   2 constituencies
>7% <8%   3 constituencies
>8% <9%   1 constituency

District Councils
============
There are 26 District Councils with between 15 and 51 members.  Every Council area
is divided into at least two "District Electoral Areas" (= multi-member wards)
which return from 4 to 8 members each.
For details of the arrangements when STV-PR was re-introduced in 1973 see:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stv-voting/files/Implementation%20of%20STV-PR%20for%
20District%20Councils%20in%20NI.htm

For details of the even more varied arrangements that were adopted for the STV-PR
elections to the Scottish Education Authorities in the 1920s, see:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/stv-voting/files/Implementation%20of%20STV-PR%20for%
20Scottish%20Education%20Authorities.htm

James

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