05 May 2008

Would Ken Have Won Under AV?

On 1st and 2nd preferences, Boris Johnson beat Ken Livingstone by nearly 140,000 votes, but a further 218,000 voters chose neither Ken or Boris as their...
first or second preference, and so these votes were effectively wasted (-idiotic Brian Paddick was one voter who deliberately wasted his vote and helped make Boris electable).

If the Mayor election had been conducted under AV (the alternative vote) instead of SV (the supplementary vote), these voters would have been able to rank a preference between the two and their vote would have counted.

It seems unlikely Ken could have made up the difference this time, but in a closer election it shows that SV - while better than first-past-the-post - is still flawed.

For the election of a single Mayor, the two round system used in France is even better than AV. I think that with another week to think about it and a straight choice between Boris and Ken, Ken might still of won.

Of course, this is all idle wishful speculation by a whinging lefty. The damage has been done, the Daily Mail group has won this one, hopefully Boris will not be as bad as we on the left fear, but the omens are not good.


  1. I would love to believe that this is all the fault of the voting system, but I can't convince myself of that; I think this genuinely reflects the preferences of the people who turned up to vote.

    There are big, big problems with AV; any sane single-winner voting system will meet the Condorcet criterion (as well as other sanity-preserving properties like monotonicity).

  2. "A whinging Leftie" - I'm yet to meet a single optimistic leftie.

    By their very nature, they abdicate personal responsibility and expect to be looked after by the mythical state and run their lives for them.

    If the state wiped their collective @r#e#, they'd find something to complain about, unequal distribution, middle classes jumping the queue whilst others miss out!!

  3. "Still have won", Neil. Whinging leftie you may be, but that's no excuse for poor grammar.