Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Top columnist spreads "voter confusion" over AV

City Hall's election managers have written to journalists asking them to stop making the false claim that the Mayor of London is elected under the Alternative Vote system.


We have noticed that there have been some inaccuracies recently regarding the election of the Mayor of London.  For any editorial stories you are writing, I wanted to clarify the voting system used in London to ensure there is no voter confusion ahead of the 2012 Mayoral elections.

The Mayor of London is elected by supplementary vote, not alternative vote.

Quite how this terrible misconception could have arisen in the minds of the British press is beyond me, although it may have something to do with statements like this one in the Daily Telegraph:

It is the system, I may as well admit, that is used in London mayoral elections. [AV] may be just about tolerable there; but I can see no case whatever for introducing it across the country.

An incredibly misleading and factually inaccurate statement written by er, the current Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

Perhaps City Hall's election managers could start by copying him in.


Dicky Moore said...

I wonder if Boris said he was elected by AV in the hope it would deter us from voting YES in the referendum?

AdamB said...

Boris would have won under FPTP as well last time although if recent polls are maintained, second preferences could actually swing it for Boris in 2012

Anonymous said...


"3.2 Supplementary Vote

A modified form of AV is used for the election of the London Mayor – the Supplementary Vote ... The Representation of the People (No 2) Bill of 1930-31 as originally printed, proposed a system of Alternative Vote which broadly corresponds to the Supplementary Vote ... "

AdamB said...

The supplementary vote does not require 50% and does not allow people to make multiple secondary preferences. It's not AV.

Anonymous said...

50% of what?

"If a candidate has over half the first preferences they are elected. If no candidate has over half, all but the top two candidates are eliminated, and the second preferences of those who voted for the eliminated candidates are counted - those for either of the top two candidates are added to the vote, and whoever has the highest number wins."

SV is a truncated form of AV, and as such must according to Cameron destroy the principle of "one person one vote".

AdamB said...