The Department of Internal Affairs

Te Tari Taiwhenua | Department of Internal Affairs

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Resource material › STV Information › More about STV

Under an STV electoral system, voters rank candidates in their order of preference. A good example to consider is an election to select three councillors for a ward in a council election. Under STV, you would write '1' next to the name of your favourite candidate, '2' next to your second favourite candidate and so on.

STV means that you have one vote, but can indicate your preferences for all the candidates. Under FPP, you would place ticks next to the names of up to three candidates, which means you would have three votes.

The number of vacancies and votes determines the quota a candidate must reach to be elected. The formula for deciding the quota is total number of valid votes, divided by the the number of vacancies plus one. This process is illustrated in the diagram below.

Click here to view Diagram 1: How votes are counted under STV