AV or not AV: That is the Question


With the Referendum on the Alternative Vote taking place in around 2 weeks time on May 5th, the Wessex Scene brings you both sides of the argument:

Click here to see why you should be voting YES to AV in the Referendum.

Click here to see why you should be voting NO to AV in the Referendum.

Voting takes place throughout the day on May 5th along with the Local Council Elections; go to your local polling station.

What is AV?

The Alternative Vote (AV) is the voting system SUSU uses for its own Elections. It is very similar to the First-Past-the-Post (FPTP) we have at the moment for General Elections, in that it is used to elect MPs for single-member constituencies, such as Southampton Test, Southampton Itchen and Southampton North & Romsey.

However, where AV differs is how you mark your voting slip; rather than simply marking one solitary ‘X’ on the ballot paper, the voter has the chance to rank the candidates on offer.

The voter thus puts a ‘1’ by their first-preference candidate, and can continue, if they wish, to put a ‘2’ by their second-preference, and so on, until they don’t care anymore or they run out of names. In some AV elections, such as most Australian elections, electors are required to rank all candidates, although this won’t be the case in the UK, so voters can still choose just one candidate

If a candidate receives a majority of first-preference votes (50% +1 of the vote), then they are elected.

If no candidate gains a majority on first preferences, then the second-preference votes of the candidate who finished last on the first count are redistributed. This process is repeated until someone gets over 50 per cent.


Afternoon! Welcome to my political world, reporting on all things studenty and politics-like. I do most of my writing whilst browsing the Internet when I should be doing other things, and I do love a good stat, so do expect links and numbers that are meaningless yet informative. Enjoy!

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