Stephen Franks has good advice for people confused by STV:
. . . Vote only for people you would be happy to see winning. Stop there. Do not rank candidates just to show who you least prefer. Do not rank candidates to help make sure that at least a dog beats the genuine idiot.
Remember – all vote rankings are positive. It is a no brainer. Your vote will be transferred if your favoured candidate does not win. Only vote as far down the sequence as you actually prefer. Stop so that you do not give any votes to candidates who should not be elected at all, even if they’re better than the worst. . .
STV was used by 10 councils for the 2004 local authority elections. Eight councils used STV in the 2007 elections, six councils used STV in the October 2010 elections. Seven councils will be using the STV in the October 2013 elections.
But all District Health Boards are required to use the system.
In spite of this being the fourth election in which the system is used a lot of people still don’t understand it. Many don’t realise they don’t have to rank all the candidates nor that if they do that preference could elect someone you don’t want on a council or health board.
Franks’ advice i sound – vote only for people you want and stop ranking once you’ve done that.