From Oscars to World Cup host
THE Alternative Vote has already shown it has the possibility of throwing up some surprises. The Oscars have adopted a form of AV, known as Instant Run Off Voting, for how the most coveted prize – best picture – is awarded. In 2010 this saw the big-budget favourite, James Cameron’s Avatar, beaten by his ex-wife Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker. The selection campaign to host the football World Cup uses another system similar to AV, which saw England eliminated in the first round in its bid to hold the event in 2018. But this selection process had a crucial difference, because the voters were able to select their preferences at each stage – so did not have to guess who would be left in the competition. The system was also used to allow Ed Miliband to take control of the UK Labour Party and saw Nick Clegg voted in as the Lib Dems’ leader.
FIRST PAST THE POST
VOTERS choose which candidate most represents their views and put an X against their name. The system means it is less likely that smaller parties get elected and also means that the overall choice of who governs depends on a selection of marginal seats across the country.
Voters are presented with a list of names and rank them in order of preference. To win the seat a candidate must gain more than 50% of the vote. If after the first round of counting they have less than 50%, the candidate with least votes is eliminated. In a new count the second preference votes on the eliminated candidate’s ballot papers are distributed to the remaining candidates. This process continues until there is a winner.
RIVALS: The Hurt Locker slugged it out with Avatar, below, at the 2010 Oscars.