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Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Implementation of a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system for local elections in Wales

Published: 31 March 2021
Welsh Government Report

Dr. Devine, Dr. Turnbull-Dugarte, Dr. Larner and Prof. Jennings published a policy report exploring the introduction of a Single Transferable Vote (STV) system in future local elections in Wales as laid out in the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill 2021. The report was published the 3 of March the Welsh Government website.

The report focuses on six aspects of STV electoral systems in detail.

  1. Quota system
  2. Transfer system
  3. Counting method
  4. Ballot structure
  5. District magnitude
  6. Voter and stakeholder understanding

The Main findings are:

  • The simulations found almost no substantive difference in electoral outcomes when either the Droop quota or the Hare quota is used.
  • The research identified two transfer methods suitable for use in local elections using STV in Wales: the Weighted Inclusive Gregory Method and the Simple Gregory Method.
  • There was consensus in both the existing literature and among interviewees that electronic counting was preferable to manual hand counting of ballots.
  • The various options for the ordering of candidates on the ballot paper each have their own knock-on effects.

The consensus in both the literature and among interviewees was that providing five or more members per ward is preferable as it leads to more proportional electoral outcomes.

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