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Alternative Vote system

What is the Alternative Vote system?

The Alternative Vote (AV) system is used to elect representatives for single-member constituencies, except that rather than simply marking one solitary 'X' on the ballot paper, the voter has the chance to rank, with numbers, the candidates on offer.

The voter thus puts a '1' by their first preference candidate, and can continue, if they wish, to put a '2' by their second preference, and so on, until they don't care anymore or they run out of names. You can, therefore, stop, if you want to, after you have entered “1” by your first preference candidate.

Anyone getting more than 50% of votes in the first round in a constituency is elected as MP. If that doesn't happen, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their second choices allocated to the remaining candidates. If one candidate then has more than 50% of the votes in this round they are elected. If not, the remaining candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and their second preferences (or third preferences if they were the second choice of someone who voted for the first candidate to be eliminated) reallocated. This continues until one candidate has 50% or more of the vote in that round.

You can register to vote with the District Council Elections Office. Visit the Mid Sussex District Council website to find out more or contact the Elections Office on 01444 477003, email:

You can see the results of the vote count online at: