What is Block Voting?

By Joe Young - Politics Editor

Image: Pulse Media

Block voting is the simplest of non-First Past the Post electoral systems to understand. Much like FPTP, you cast as many votes as there are seats, and whoever has the most votes wins.

So, if you have five candidates, and three positions, you can vote for up to three candidates, and the three candidates with the most votes win.

Image: Electoral Reform Society
Image: Electoral Reform Society

We use it in the UK for local elections with multiple vacancies – if your local council has all-out elections, this will be the system you use. All-Out councils include Blackpool, Bristol, Exeter, Sheffield, and Watford.

Advantages of this system are the low cost of holding elections, and the simplicity of the system for voters to understand. The cons of the system include the highly disproportionate result – candidates can be elected with minute shares of the vote – and it encourages tactical voting.

About Joe Young 316 Articles
Joe Young has been involved with student media for a very long time now, holding posts within The Pulse, and Pulse Radio, as well as the predecessor of The Pulse, Pluto. He is currently Politics Editor of The Pulse, and Head of News of Pulse Radio. In 2016, he won the Media Award for Best Article for his coverage of the Fishergate Shopping Centre bomb scare.

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