How to vote using STV   How candidates are elected    How votes are counted

How candidates are elected

In an STV election, candidates must reach a certain number of votes to get elected. This is called a quota or an absolute majority (in the case of a single vacancy election). The quota is based on the total number of votes and the number of vacant positions.

Click here to see a demonstration of how candidates are elected by Single Transferable Vote.

Here's how candidates are elected:

  • The counting process tallies all first preference votes.
  • A candidate is elected if they reach the quota.
  • If a candidate is elected, they keep only the proportion of the vote they need to reach the quota. The surplus part of each vote is transferred to the voter's second preference.
  • The votes are tallied again.
  • If another candidate reaches the quota or gets more votes than they need to be elected, the surplus part of each vote for that candidate will be transferred to the voter's third preference.
  • If no more candidates have enough support to get elected (i.e. reach the quota), the lowest polling candidate is eliminated and all votes for that candidate are transferred to those voters' next preferences.
  • This process is repeated until enough candidates are elected to fill the vacant positions.

The transfer of votes is done in order of voters'preferences. This means that surplus votes are not "wasted" but are available to help other candidates to get elected.

The election process treats all candidates the same, by giving them a "keep value". Find out more.

How candidates are elected for one vacancy.

How candidates are elected for MORE than one vacancy.