Vote Till You Boke


I was going to write this last week but there’s been a few political distractions recently 😀

There’s now just over 6 weeks to the Council elections and due to the “quirkiness” of Scottish politics we have another voting system. (This blog is me trying to get my head around it)

  • UK General elections is First Past the Post.
  • Scottish Parliament uses the Additional Member System  (specifically d’Hondt) which results in smaller parties getting a proportion of seats when otherwise they wouldn’t with a FPTP system.
  • Council elections has the Single Transferable Vote system when candidates are ranked in order of preference.

Last Council elections I wasn’t sure what I was doing, and I think I only gave 4 preferences as there was 4 councillors being elected. I am now aware that I can rank as many as I wish


My initial response to this as a SNP member (this is not me saying you should vote the same way, it’s your vote so your choice) is to vote SNP first, followed by Greens, then any other pro-indy/socialist party/independents and then stop.

However I then read these two posts from James Kelly

For an example of why pro-independence voters should use their lower preferences in the local council elections, look to Northern Ireland

A bit more on the value of using all (or most) of your preferences in the local elections

It seems very counter intuitive to vote for any party you disagree with hence “vote till you boke” – the Irish are such a poetic people.  🙂

Part of me gets it though; I’ve always felt that when it comes down to it that voting when the choice is for the lesser of two evils it is better to vote for the least evil than lose the influence of your vote. Of course a “None of the Above” option might solve that problem.

I’ll admit when it comes to the UK main parties I find it easier ranking from the bottom up. Worst has to be UKIP/Tories, then Labour and finally being the least worst is the LibDems.  (I’ve also noticed that apart from UKIP I’ve ranked them opposite to their polling performance)

After May I’d like for Labour to no longer has their sticky paws on Glasgow City Council. I am concerned about the trend of Labour voters moving to the Tories as seen during Holyrood elections.

So when it comes to lower preference votes I think I’d rather have some input than leave it all to the Unionists and as a last resort I think I’d rather have a LibDem councillor. *goes off to eat soap*

Fingers crossed it doesn’t get that close.

Finally a quick reminder – make sure you are on the Electoral Register the deadline is April 17th





Image from @BadgeBonny – available as a badge 


4 thoughts on “Vote Till You Boke

  1. Thanks for posting this and the links to SGP’s posts giving me food for thought.
    I think I get the general drift that it is a little bit more complicated than I assumed and that it is important to even hold one’s nose and list ALL candidates by preference.
    I agree with one of James’ commenters that it would be useful to see a proper worked example to show the arithmetic in action. I suppose I could do it for myself but I would rather be painting than counting!


  2. Pingback: Vote Till You Boke – the sequel – Mewsing Out Loud

  3. Pingback: Lists and roundabouts – Mewsing Out Loud

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