Alistair Clark

Scottish local elections in 2012 show that voters have understood the STV system and are not put-off by it

Alistair Clark analyses the recent Scottish local government elections and makes the case for the single tranferable vote (STV) system. Contrary to the arguments drawn by its opponents, Clark finds the system does not lower turnout, nor does it lead to a greater rejection of ballots. While there is a correlation between an increased ballot position and votes received, this […]

What might the Scottish local elections tell us about the state of Scottish party politics in the run up to the 2014 referendum on independence?

Alistair Clark argues that the upcoming local government elections in Scotland will indicate how the referendum might turn out. Turnout and the still relatively new STV electoral system will be important determinants of the vote, and momentum following the results will be of crucial significance. In light of ongoing debates over Scottish independence and the mechanics of holding an independence referendum, […]

Depending on the result, the role of the devolved countries in the AV Referendum may raise some interesting constitutional questions

The roles of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the upcoming AV referendum have often been ignored by the debate. While these countries have experience with a variety of voting systems, recent polls suggest that voters in Scotland and Wales are moving to an anti-AV position. Alistair Clark examines voting in these devolved countries and finds that holding the referendum […]

STV in Scotland shows us that voters can adapt to preferential voting systems – but political parties may take longer to fully grasp the new system

In the run up to the AV referendum in May, there has been considerable debate and commentary from both campaigns on how AV would actually operate. In this light, it is worth considering the impact of the last large-scale electoral reform in the UK: the 2007 introduction of another preferential electoral system, the single transferable vote (STV) for local government […]