[EM] Why I think IRV isn't a serious alternative 2

James Gilmour jgilmour at globalnet.co.uk
Thu Dec 25 14:42:35 PST 2008

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax   > Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2008 8:01 PM
> At 09:05 AM 12/25/2008, James Gilmour wrote:
> >My personal view is that runoff is not desirable and would be an
> >unnecessary and unwanted expense.  I know runoff voting systems are
> >used in some other countries, but they are not used at all in the UK.
> They are used in places with strong multiparty systems. The UK is a 
> two-party system.

This statement is quite simply wrong.  Two parties may (unfairly) dominate the scene at Westminster (UK Parliament), but at the last
general election those two parties received only 68% of the total vote.

For details see:		

In Scotland we have a four-party system (previously three-party) and we don't use any form run-off for any of our public elections.

 >   I am satisfied that there are perfectly adequate "vote once" systems 
> >available for all public elections, both single-office elections and 
> >assembly elections.
> If they are good for public elections, why are they *never* used for 
> smaller organizations where repeated ballot is easy? Wouldn't 
> it save time?

In the UK the "smaller organisations" that have moved on from FPTP would nearly all use the Alternative Vote = IRV.  I am not aware
of any in the UK that would use any form of run-off.

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