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Labour’s alternative vote system could be what stops Corbyn

August 10th, 2015

LAB4 looking right

How Yvette Cooper could come 3rd on 1st preferences yet still end up as winner

In the last 2 big LAB selections the person top on 1st round hasn’t won. This happened with Harriet Harman in the 2007 deputy race and, of course, when EdM beat his brother five years ago. This was all, of course, because of the party’s alternative voting system when electors are asked to give their second and third choices as well as their first one.

Although the three part electoral college of old has now gone the overall structure of voting remains and what is critical is how the second and third preferences actually split.

So PBers can play around with the AV impact Nojam has created a special widget where you input not only the first preferences but how this might work.

In the first example Nojam’s Mark Hopkins has a first round split of Corbyn 38%, Burnham 27%, Cooper 24% and Kendall 10%. He then makes what I think are very reasonable assumptions on how the lower preferences will go and we get Cooper as winner. Just click on the “AV Result” tab below to see the outcome.

    In my example Corbyn gets 41% on first round, Burnham 25%, Cooper 22% and Kendall 12%. Yet Cooper wins based on the lower preferences

What I think is clear is that the lion’s share of the Kendall vote would go to Cooper and this could possibly put her in second place for the final split with Corbyn.

Try for yourself. Remember that many voters are not likely to use all their preferences so transfers do not have to add up to 100%.

Note that you can edit your numbers at any time and test different possible outcomes

Thanks to Mark for creating this for us.

Mike Smithson