Wednesday, 28 May 2014

STV may be more democratic but it needs electronic counting.

Those of us who support the Single Transferable Vote  may have to argue for the introduction of some form of electronic counting if we are not to have the marathon counts that have  occurred  in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.
In the North were unlike the rest of the UK (and I again ask what other state has a diffrent method within its boarders  The UUP's Jim Nicholson has joined Sinn Féin's Martina Anderson and the DUP's Diane Dodds, as the third Northern Ireland MEP to be elected.
Ms Anderson topped the poll and was elected on Monday.
In a marathon count lasting more than 24 hours, Mr Nicholson got in ahead of the SDLP's Alex Attwood, who was eliminated at the final stage.
Mrs Dodds was elected at the seventh stage. It means the same three parties have been elected as in 2009.
In the Republic one seat out of the eleven contested  remained to be declared . Though as in Island as a whole   Sinn Féin have emerged as a a major player winning 1 Euro seats in North and three in the Republic. .
But a Byelection  in the Republic shows a interesting insight into how the Alternative Vote would have worked.

2014 by-election: Dublin West[5][6]
PartyCandidate % 1st PrefCount 1Count 2Count 3Count 4Count 5Count 6
Socialist PartyRuth Coppinger20.65,9776,1126,7447,3428,80712,334
Fianna FáilDavid McGuinness17.55,0535,1565,6916,7898,1639,237
Sinn FéinPaul Donnelly20.96,0566,1206,2966,5167,028 
IndependentDavid Hall13.13,8034,1334,7835,846  
Fine GaelEamonn Coghlan12.83,7153,7884,693   
Green PartyRoderic O'Gorman6.41,8561,951    
Labour PartyLorraine Mulligan5.21,5051,540    
IndependentSeán Lyons2.2649     
IndependentJohn Kidd0.8228     
Fís NuaDaniel Boyne0.4113     
Electorate: 63,521   Valid: 28,955   Spoilt: 395 (1.4%)   Quota: 14,478   Turnout: 29,350 (46.2%

Sinn Féin candidate topped the poll but saw only  a few transfers  and Socialist Patry's Ruth Coppinger was the eventual winner.

So it seems that whilst  Sinn Féin  are undergoing a fair deal of popularity in the republic the majority of voters may not be prepared to give them their second preference.

But one thing is clear if we are to promote STV we also need tp promote a effective system of counting .

Even if we take into account that Northern Ireland  did not start the count till Monday it  tol 24 hours to fill just three seats.

It does not diminish my support for STV but makes my argument harder.

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