Medway Elects

Alternative Vote
5 May 2011

A referendum was held in the UK on 5 May 2011 to decide on changing the voting system used in elections to the House of Commons.

The UK has always used first past the post (FPTP) to elect members of parliament. Under FPTP, every voter has one vote and the candidate with the highest number of votes is elected.

The Conservatives and Labour have continually restated their commitment to FPTP. Other parties have campaigned for the introduction of a more proportional electoral system, on the basis that FPTP produces unfair results. When the Liberal Democrats entered into coalition government with the Conservatives in May 2010, one of their terms was a referendum on changing the voting system to alternative vote (AV).

Under AV, voters rank candidates according to who they would most like to be elected. The first preference votes are counted initially. The candidate with the fewest number of votes is eliminated and their second preference votes are carried over to the remaining candidates. This process is repeated until only one candidate remains. AV is not a form of proportional representation, but is designed to ensure successful candidates have majority support.

67.9% of voters opted to keep FPTP for elections.


A referendum was held asking the following question:

At present, the UK uses the "first past the post" system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the "alternative vote" system be used instead?


The following results were declared by the returning officer:

  Option Medway % UK %
  No 54,540 74.3 13,013,123 67.9
  Yes 18,817 25.7 6,152,607 32.1
  Turnout   42.2

To order the options by their ballot paper order, number of votes received in Medway or number of votes received in the UK, click on the appropriate column heading.

Medway Result

UK Result

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