Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Putting the People in Control

Attended an ERS launch event this evening for the publication of a major report assessing the impact of the local authority Elections in Scotland last May.

... enjoyable evening, with a good mix of civic and party activists present - sure I spotted the odd fellow renegade blogger, but didn't (unfortunately) get the chance to swap notes ;-)

It is a pretty long report - full version can be accessed here - but well worth a read, and the conclusions from the extensive analysis are very clear:

  • STV has produced much more representative councils than would have been elected under the former First-Past-The-Post system
  • parties appear to have adapted well to the new system, although we expect that parties will develop their techniques as they gain experience of STV campaigning
  • voter understanding of the system appears to have been generally good, with a relatively low level of spoilt ballot papers (unlike the Scottish Parliament election held on the same day)
  • most votes mattered, in the sense that they contributed to the election of a councillor
Contrast that with local elections down south ...

... just a pity about that damned result in Edinburgh :-((

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