Saturday, April 29, 2017

Another reader's question on STV : How do you solve a problem like an eejit in the Western Isles?

I received another question the other day about the STV voting system for the local elections, and once again it's probably worth answering it in a public post in case anyone else has the same doubt in their mind.

"In my council ward in the Western Isles I have 6 candidates, one of whom is SNP and the remainder (supposedly) independent.

I intend to put my 1 for the SNP candidate.

Of the remainder there is one eejit whom I can't see far enough, and to whom I would like to give a resounding 6.

The others, I neither know nor care about.

Is it allowable to just vote 1 and 6 with nothing in between?"

The simple answer is "no".  Although you don't have to give preferences to all of the candidates, any candidates you do give preferences to must be ranked in strict numerical order starting from 1.  So if you give preferences to only two candidates, they must be ranked 1 and 2.  By doing that in the example given above, you would be ranking the number 2 candidate ahead of the four candidates you have not ranked at all.  The only way to rank the "eejit" bottom of the pile would be to give your top five preferences to the non-eejits.  If you genuinely cannot find any way of choosing between four of the five non-eejits, your only option would be to rank them in random order.

You don't have to rank them if you don't want to - but bear in mind that if you don't, you're abstaining in certain circumstances and potentially helping the eejit to win.  If you attempt to give only a first and sixth preference, the first preference will be counted but the sixth preference will be ignored (effectively as a spoilt ballot).


  1. Can you give evidence of that in the electoral guidelines?
    Without hard evidence I'll be 'voting yill I boak' (with the Tory the only one unranked).

  2. I'm not sure what you mean, Peter - 'voting till you boak' is exactly what I'm advising. I think you must have misread what I said.

  3. My advise is do not vote for the Tartan Tory Thatcherite eejits.

    1. The troll calls scottish people "jocks", advocates arming Leave campaigners, arbitrary deportations and public mutilations, claimed Jo Cox's husband was a fascist, uses racial, homophobic and ethnic slurs, pretends to be Labour (badly) while espousing far-right racist hate-speech, praises Theresa May and the tories and displays a perverted poisonous obsession with Scotland's First Minister & her predecessor.

      Snivelling Britnat operative.

  4. Please do not put any extra writing on your ballot paper as this will void your vote. It's too important!

  5. In my ward in Heldon & Laich I am putting the Tory last. As to the supposed Independents, well of the three of them at least two are rabid Yoons so they will be at the lower end of the list. The other Independent has no form in that he wasn't a sitting Councillor and thus wasn't part of the corrupt, incompetent and nepotistic coalition running Moray Council.

    I will be putting SNP one and then Green two and then it is a toss up between the Independent with no criminal political record and a Liberal for third and fourth.

    How you figure out which of the so called Independents are rabid Yoons in the Western Isles well that is local knowledge. Keep the Yoons at the bottom end of the lists.