Friday, 21 January 2011

AV tombola

The Alternative Vote tombola (AVt) is a refinement of the Alternative Vote (AV) voting system proposed in a referendum for later this year. It too is a form of preferential voting where voters mark the candidates in order of preference; the first choice is marked “1”, the second choice “2” and so on.

To quote one proponent of AV when addressing the issue of complexity: “The electorate will not need to know how to count the votes”, but should you be interested the winner in an AVt system is decided as follows:
  1. Each candidate is allocated a colour.
  2. For every 1st preference vote a candidate is given ten tokens of their allocated colour, every 2nd preference vote receives eight tokens, 3rd preference receives six - all other preferences are assigned one token each.
  3. When every vote has been counted, the accumulated tokens of each candidate are placed in a large tombola and a winner is chosen by a local celebrity.
Hence the alternative view that when evaluating a voting system, understanding how to vote is meaningless without an understanding of how your vote is counted.


  1. Cool,

    Very easy to see that someone with less than 10% of the tokens can have nearly a fifty percent chance of being voted in. When THAT happens, what will people do? Especially if the person is bitterly opposed by most.

    (one person has 50% of the tokens, because nearly 100% of the people voted for him first. 5 others with less than 10% each because the 2nd place, etc. vote was on a fairly level basis. That means there is half a chance that the popular person loses, and then who wins?)

  2. Hi,
    I must gree with muddleglum.
    Who wins in this case?
    What if 10% don't vote ?