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Elections & Voting Explained

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Types of Elections

Here we quickly set out the different types of UK elections.

General Elections

First Past the Post in single member constituencies

European Parliament

Closed List System – voters choose a party and parties in each region get the number of seats proportional to their vote in the region (except in Northern Ireland) *Subject to change due to Brexit

Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and London Assembly

Additional Member System – voters have one vote for a candidate in a single member constituency and a second for a party – constituency members are elected first past the post and the party vote is used to top up the number of members in each region to produce a result broadly proportional to the vote in that region

Local elections in England and Wales

First Past the Post in single or multi-member wards

Mayor of London and Police and Crime Commissioners

Supplementary Vote – voters give a first and second choice and if no candidate wins on first choices then second choices are distributed to give a winning candidate

All elections in Northern Ireland and Scottish local elections

Single Transferable Vote – voters order as many candidates as they want to in multi member constituencies – a quota is defined by dividing the number of seats into the overall number of votes cast – candidates with first preferences below the quota are eliminated and candidates above the quota are elected and their votes distributed on the basis of their second choices to other candidates and so on until all seats are filled.

For more case studies like these head over to The Britpolitics Treasury