Scottish STV

Scotland enacted these rules for local elections in 2007. This is a straightforward implementation of STV and recommended to organizations using STV for the first time.

The complete set of rules can be found at http://www.opsi.gov.uk/legislation/scotland/ssi2007/ssi_20070042_en.pdf. The relevant portions of the these rules are included below.

OpenSTV's implementation of the Scottish STV rules has been validated against the eSTV program.


SCOTTISH STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS

2007 No. 42

REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE

The Scottish Local Government Elections Order 2007

Citation, commencement and extent

1.—(1) This Order may be cited as the Scottish Local Government Elections Order 2007.

(2) This Order shall come into force on 17th February 2007 except for the purposes of any election to be held on or before 2nd May 2007.

(3) This Order shall extend to Scotland only.

Interpretation

2. In this Order, unless the context otherwise requires—

"anonymous entry" in relation to a register of electors, shall be construed in accordance with section 9B of the 1983 Act and "the record of anonymous entries" means the record prepared in pursuance of regulations made by virtue of paragraph 8A of Schedule 2 to the 1983 Act;

"ballot paper account" has the meaning given in rule 39(3);

"companion" has the meaning given in rule 34(1);

"corresponding number list" means the list prepared in accordance with rule 15;

"completed corresponding number list" has the meaning given in rule 39(1);

"continuing candidate" means any candidate not deemed to be elected as a councillor and not excluded from the list of candidates under rule 50;

"council" means a council constituted by section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994(b);

"count" means all the operations involved in counting and crediting votes, including the ascertainment of the quota, the transfer of ballot papers and the exclusion of candidates;

"election court" means the court constituted under the 1983 Act for the trial of a petition questioning an election;

"election petition" means a petition presented in pursuance of Part III of the 1983 Act as that Act is applied by this Order;

"election" means an election under the Local Governance (Scotland) Act 2004 and, for the purposes of articles 1(2) and 6(2), an election under the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994;

"elector" means a person who is registered in the register (or, in the case of a person who has an anonymous entry in the register, in the record of anonymous entries) to be used at the election as a local government elector for the local government area in which the election is held and includes a person shown in the register as below voting age if (but only if) it appears from the register that such person will be of voting age on the day fixed for the poll;

"electoral registration officer" has the same meaning as in the 1983 Act;

"electronic counting system" means such computer hardware and software, other equipment, data and services as may be necessary in order to—

(a) maintain a list of the areas in relation to which an election is being held by reference to ward barcodes on ballot papers issued to voters in relation to that area;

(b) read electronically the votes marked and the unique identifying number on each ballot paper returned;

(c) calculate the number of votes cast for each candidate at the election otherwise than on any spoilt, tendered or rejected ballot paper; and

(d) ensure the retention of a record of the votes given for each candidate, without identifying the elector by whom, or on whose behalf, the votes were cast;

"list of proxies" has the meaning given by paragraph 5(3) of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 2000;

"local authority" means a council constituted by section 2 of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994;

"local government area" is to be construed in accordance with section 1 (local government areas) of the Local Government etc. (Scotland) Act 1994;

"next available preference" means a preference which is the second or, as the case may be, subsequent preference in consecutive order for a continuing candidate (any preferences for any candidate who is deemed to be elected or is excluded from the list of candidates under rule 50 being ignored);

"non-transferable paper" means a ballot paper on which there is no next available preference;

"proper officer" has the same meaning as in section 235(3) of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973(a);

"postal voters list" means the list of persons kept in pursuance of paragraph 5(2) (persons whose applications to vote by post have been granted) of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 2000(b);

"proxy postal voters list" means the list of persons kept in pursuance of paragraph 7(8) (persons whose applications to vote by post as proxy have been granted) of Schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 2000;

"qualifying address" in relation to a person registered in the register of electors, is the address in respect of which that person is entitled to be so registered;

"quota" has the meaning given in rule 46;

"registered political party" means a party registered under Part II of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000(c);

"returning officer" means, in relation to an election, the returning officer appointed for the election under section 41(1) (duty of local authority to appoint returning officer for each local authority election) of the 1983 Act;

"special lists" means the lists kept under paragraph 5 of schedule 4 to the Representation of the People Act 2000(d);

"spoilt ballot paper" has the meaning given in rule 36;

"stage of the count" means—

(a) the determination of the number of votes for each candidate as first preference;

(b) the transfer of transferable papers from a candidate deemed to be elected who has a surplus; or

(c) the exclusion of a candidate at any given time;

"surplus" means the number of votes, if any, by which the total number of votes credited to a candidate deemed to be elected as a councillor exceeds the quota;

"tendered ballot paper" has the meaning given in rule 35(1);

"tendered votes list" has the meaning given in rule 35(8);

"transferable paper" means a ballot paper on which a next available preference is given;

"transfer value" means the value of a vote on a ballot paper calculated in accordance with rule 48;

"unique identifying mark" means the mark (for example, a bar code, letter, number or numerical sequence) on a ballot paper which is unique to that ballot paper and which identifies that ballot paper as a ballot paper to be issued by the returning officer; and

"voter" means a person voting at an election and includes a person voting as proxy and "vote" (whether noun or verb) shall be construed accordingly except that any reference to an elector voting or an elector's vote shall include a reference to an elector voting by proxy or an elector's vote given by proxy.

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SCHEDULE 1

PART III — CONTESTED ELECTIONS

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Counting of votes

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First stage

45.—(1) The returning officer shall sort the valid ballot papers into parcels according to the candidates for whom first preference votes are given.

(2) The returning officer shall then—

(a) count the number of ballot papers in each parcel;

(b) credit the candidate receiving the first preference vote with one vote for each ballot paper; and

(c) record those numbers.

(3) The returning officer shall also ascertain and record the total number of valid ballot papers.

The quota

46.—(1) The returning officer shall divide the total number of valid ballot papers for the electoral ward by a number exceeding by one the number of councillors to be elected at the election for that electoral ward.

(2) The result of the division under paragraph (1) (ignoring any decimal places), increased by one, is the number of votes needed to secure the return of a candidate as a councillor (in these rules referred to as the "quota").

Return of councillors

47.—(1) Where, at any stage of the count, the number of votes for a candidate equals or exceeds the quota, the candidate is deemed to be elected.

(2) A candidate is returned as a councillor when declared to be elected in accordance with rule 55(a).

Transfer of ballot papers

48.—(1) Where, at the end of any stage of the count, the number of votes credited to any candidate exceeds the quota and, subject to rules 49 and 52, one or more vacancies remain to be filled, the returning officer shall sort the ballot papers received by that candidate into further parcels so that they are grouped—

(a) according to the next available preference given on those papers; and

(b) where no such preference is given, as a parcel of non-transferable papers.

(2) The returning officer shall, in accordance with this rule and rule 49, transfer each parcel of ballot papers referred to in paragraph (1)(a) to the continuing candidate for whom the next available preference is given on those papers and shall credit such continuing candidates with an additional number of votes calculated in accordance with paragraph (3).

(3) The vote on each ballot paper transferred under paragraph (2) shall have a value ("the transfer value") calculated as follows—

A divided by B

Where

A = the value which is calculated by multiplying the surplus of the transferring candidate by the value of the ballot paper when received by that candidate; and

B = the total number of votes credited to that candidate,

the calculation being made to five decimal places (any remainder being ignored).

(4) For the purposes of paragraph (3)—

(a) "transferring candidate" means the candidate from whom the ballot paper is being transferred; and

(b) "the value of the ballot paper" means—

(i) for a ballot paper on which a first preference vote is given for the transferring candidate, one; and

(ii) in all other cases, the transfer value of the ballot paper when received by the transferring candidate.

Transfer of ballot papers — supplementary provisions

49.—(1) If, at the end of any stage of the count, the number of votes credited to two or more candidates exceeds the quota the returning officer shall—

(a) first sort the ballot papers of the candidate with the highest surplus; and

(b) then transfer the transferable papers of that candidate.

(2) If the surpluses determined in respect of two or more candidates are equal, the transferable papers of the candidate who had the highest number of votes at the end of the most recent preceding stage at which they had unequal numbers of votes shall be transferred first.

(3) If the numbers of votes credited to two or more candidates were equal at all stages of the count, the returning officer shall decide, by lot, which candidate's transferable papers are to be transferred first.

Exclusion of candidates

50.—(1) If, one or more vacancies remain to be filled and—

(a) the returning officer has transferred all ballot papers which are required by rule 48 or this rule to be transferred; or

(b) there are no ballot papers to be transferred under rule 48 or this rule, the returning officer shall exclude from the election at that stage the candidate with the then lowest number of votes.

(2) The returning officer shall sort the ballot papers for the candidate excluded under paragraph (1) into parcels so that they are grouped—

(a) according to the next available preference given on those papers; and

(b) where no such preference is given, as a parcel of non-transferable papers.

(3) The returning officer shall, in accordance with this article, transfer each parcel of ballot papers referred to in paragraph (2)(a) to the continuing candidate for whom the next available preference is given on those papers and shall credit such continuing candidates with an additional number of votes calculated in accordance with paragraph (4).

(4) The vote on each ballot paper transferred under paragraph (3) shall have a transfer value of one unless the vote was transferred to the excluded candidate in which case it shall have the same transfer value as when transferred to the candidate excluded under paragraph (1).

(5) This rule is subject to rule 52.

Exclusion of candidates — supplementary provisions

51.—(1) If, when a candidate has to be excluded under rule 50—

(a) two or more candidates each have the same number of votes; and

(b) no other candidate has fewer votes,

paragraph (2) applies.

(2) Where this paragraph applies—

(a) regard shall be had to the total number of votes credited to those candidates at the end of the most recently preceding stage of the count at which they had an unequal number of votes and the candidate with the lowest number of votes at that stage shall be excluded; and

(b) where the number of votes credited to those candidates was equal at all stages, the returning officer shall decide, by lot, which of those candidates is to be excluded.

Filling of last vacancies

52.—(1) Where the number of continuing candidates is equal to the number of vacancies remaining unfilled, the continuing candidates are deemed to be elected.

(2) Where the last vacancies can be filled under this rule, no further transfer shall be made.