The Alternative Vote system in practice Labour elects its leader using the Alternative Vote (AV) system. Five hopefuls entered the race for the leadership in 2010. It turned out to be a great example of how AV works.
The AV Ballot << 1 st preference << 2nd preference Before we begin, a quick recap on how the voting process works. In AV, voters rank candidates from favourite to least favourite. (This is very different to marking an “X” for a single candidate)
Round 1 The election began by adding up all of the 1 st preferences . At this point, David Miliband led with 37.8% of the votes. But you need at least 50% to win, so it went to Round 2.
Round 2 In Round 2, Diane Abbott was knocked out for finishing last. Her votes were shared out based on their 2 nd preferences . Again, nobody had more than 50%, so it went to Round 3.
Round 3 In Round 3, Andy Burnham was eliminated for finishing last. His votes were redistributed based on their 2 nd preferences. Still no candidate had more than 50%. So on to Round 4.
Round 4 In Round 4, Ed Balls was eliminated and his votes were shared out. Ed Miliband now had more than 50% of all the votes counted. So, despite trailing in all previous rounds, Ed Miliband won.
And that’s how the Alternative Vote system works in practice.