Ranked voting

The inadequacy of our current first-past-the-post electoral system is one of the most widely recognised failings of the British constitution. However, many people are put off by the most-commonly promoted solution, proportional representation, because it is seen as further entrenching the dominance of political parties. faq

Local Sovereignty supports the simpler goal of ranked voting. faq

With the first-past-the-post electoral system, voters may only put a mark against a single candidate – they have no way of indicating who they prefer among the other candidates. That means that voters must assess the popularity of the candidates before they vote and that they sometimes don’t feel able to vote for the candidate they would actually prefer, for fear of letting in a candidate they strongly oppose.

With ranked voting, voters put a different number against each candidate and if their preferred candidate is eliminated, their vote is transferred to their next preference. This means voters will feel free to vote for the candidate they really want to win even if they believe another candidate has a better chance of beating someone they are strongly against.

This will increase the chances of electors getting the representative they really want and will improve the system’s function as an indicator of the public mood. faq

As an additional feature we propose that abstentions be treated as a rejection of all the named candidates, with abstainers’ votes going to a ‘sortition’ candidate, to be appointed by a jury randomly chosen from the constituency’s electorate faq. This would encourage turnout of voters who do have strong preferences while also being a counterweight to the ‘safe seat’ phenomenon that, under the current system, makes many people feel there’s no point in voting.


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