NI Electoral Systems - Single Transferable Vote/ P
The Single Transferrable Vote system is used in Assembly, European and Council electionns in NI. Voters are presented with a list of candidates competing to win a variable number of seats in multi-member constituencies. They rank their preferences in order, and again are both influencing the choice of constituency member as well as the composition of the government. Assembly elections use STV in 18 constitiuencies to elect 6 MLAs in each whilst in the European Council Elections NI is treated as a single constituency to elect 3 MEPs to the European Parliament.
EFFECTS OF PR (STV) -
- more political views are represented.
- produces parallel communal elections of nationalist and unionist contests.
- can be confusing for electors with the result of a higher level of spoiled votes.
- in theory, there are no 'wasted votes' because even electoral minorities may get represented if they are large enough to secure a seat in a multi-member constituency.
- it benefits smaller parties giving them a better chance of election.
- voters are given considerable control over the way their vote is used.
- in effect it produes a 'weak' government in that coalitions are the usual result, as opposed to FPTP which produces a 'strong' government.