POLYAS Election Glossary

We provide explanations and background information on elections, voting rights and digital democracy

Supplementary Vote

The Supplementary Vote (SV) is a shortened version of the Alternative Vote (AV). SV means there are two columns on the ballot paper – one for voters to mark their first choice and one in which to mark a second choice.

If after the counting of first votes the candidate has a majority, they are elected. If no candidate receives a majority, the top two candidates continue to a second round and all others are eliminated. The second choice of votes whose first choice has been eliminated are then counted and added to the remaining candidates’ totals.

SV is used in the election of all directly elected English mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners in England and Wales.

See also: First Past the Post, Alternative Vote, Proportional Vote

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