Observations of the Scottish elections 2007

During the course of the 2003-2007 session of the Scottish Parliament, legislation was passed which adopted the Weighted Inclusive Gregory Single Transferable Vote (WIG-STV) electoral system for the election of councillors to Scotland's 32 local authorities (LGSA 2004, Farrell & McAllister 2003). STV systems requires voters to rank candidates in order of preference (1,2 etc) and candidates are elected in successive rounds of tallying, elimination and redistribution (for a detailed explanation see Farrell & McAllister 2003). Previous legislation adopted the additional member system for election of members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP). Additional member systems require voters to cast a single preference vote for a constituency MSP and for a list of candidates covering a larger region. The consequence of the new electoral system for local election was to significantly increase the complexity of both running an election day operation and the subsequent count. Partial automation, through the use of an e-counting system was adopted with the intention of making the election process more manageable. [Continues...].