“STV” stands for “Single Transferable Vote”. Each voter has one vote and may transfer it.
Each constituency elects a number of MPs (typically five). So that the House of Commons would not have to be any bigger than it is now, a group of (say, five) present single-member constituencies would be put together to make one multi-member constituency.
Voters have a single vote, which can be transferred according to their wishes from their first to second choice candidate and so on. They can express their choices for as many or as few candidates as they wish. They vote by writing “1″ against their first choice, “2” against their second and so on as far as they wish.
To be elected, candidates have to obtain a “quota” of the votes cast. The quota depends on the number of votes cast and the number of seats to be filled.
The first choice votes for each candidate are counted. If a candidate reaches the quota, then that candidate is elected. Surplus votes (above the quota) are redistributed in proportion to the wishes of the candidate’s voters and that process continues until all the seats are filled.
If not all places have been filled and there are no surpluses left, then the votes of the candidate with the fewest votes will be transferred to the next choices of that candidate’s voters. If necessary, this is repeated until all the places have been filled.
You may find FAQ useful.
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