Seven British Cities Elect Mayors with IRV on May 2, 2002

Mayors in seven British cities were elected on May 2 using the supplementary vote, a modified form of instant runoff voting. The supplementary vote was also used to elect the mayor of London in May 2000 and will be used in other cities in the United Kingdom that choose to elect their mayor directly.

The supplementary vote differs from instant runoff voting (IRV) in two key aspects:

  • Voters are limited to only two rankings rather than being able to rank as many candidates as they want.
  • If no candidate wins a majority of first choices, all but the top two candidate are eliminated simultaneously rather than incrementally, as in IRV. The ballots cast for the eliminated candidates are then counted for the second choice on those ballots if that choice is one of the top two candidates.

The supplementary vote helps alleviate the problems of plurality voting, but one need only look to the first round of the 2002 presidential election in France in April 2002 to see how full instant runoff voting has important advantages. Many people would have expected Prime Minister Lionel Jospin to be one of the top two candidates, and would have used their second, "supplemental" vote for him -- but he finished out of the top two. Thus, millions of the supporters of the eliminated candidates (who in total made up 64% of the first-round vote) wouldn't have ranked either of the runoff candidates (President Jacques Chirac and Jean-Marie Le Pen) as their second choice and thus had their vote wasted. In addition, the French elections raise concerns about eliminating the field to two candidates after just one round of counting. Jospin was undercut by split votes for several candidates in the center-left, thus allowing Le Pen to make the runoff with just 17% of the vote.

Still, the decision to elect British mayors through the supplementary vote elections is further evidence of the decline in support for plurality voting, as used in most American elections.


Source: The Guardian, Friday May 3, 2002


Elected: Martin Winter (Labour)
Electorate: 216,097
Turnout: 58,487 (27.07%)

First count

Martin Winter (Lab) 21,494 (36.75%)
Andrew Burden (Cons) 9,000 (15.39%)
Ms Jessie Credland (Comm Gp) 8,469 (14.48%)
Michael Maye (Ind Maye) 7,502 (12.83%)
Graham Newman (LD) 5,150 (8.81%)
Terry Wilcox (Ind Wilcox) 4,036 (6.90%)
Shafiq Ahmad Khan (Ind Khan) 2,836 (4.85%)
- Eliminated: Ms Jessie Credland, Michael Maye, Graham Newman, Terry Wilcox, Shafiq Ahmad Khan

Second Count

- Distribution of Khan's, Maye's, Credland's, Newman's and Wilcox's votes
Martin Winter (Lab) 25,707
Andrew Burden (C) 12,707


Elected: Stuart Drummond (Independent)
Electorate: 67,903 Turnout: 19,544 (28.78%)

First Count

Stuart Drummond (ND) 5,696 (29.14%)
Leo Gillen (Lab) 5,438 (27.82%)
Ian Cameron (Ind) 5,174 (26.47%)
Arthur Preece (LD) 1,675 (8.57%)
Stephen Close (C) 1,561 (7.99%)
- Eliminated: Ian Cameron, Arthur Preece, Stephen Close

Second Count

- Distribution of Preece's and Close's and Cameron's votes
Stuart Drummond (ND) 7,395
Leo Gillen (Lab) 6,792


Elected: Steve Bullock (Labour)
Electorate: 179,835 Turnout:: 44,518 (24.75%)

First Count

Steve Bullock (Lab) 20,011 (44.95%)
Derek Stone (C) 8,004 (17.98%)
Alex Feakes (LD) 7,276 (16.34%)
Sinna Mani (Green) 5,517 (12.39%)
Ms Marie-Louise Irvine (Parents) 3,710 (8.33%)
- Eliminated: Alex Feakes, Sinna Mani, Ms Marie-Louise Irvine

Second Count

- Distribution of Feakes's, Mani's and Irvine's votes
Steve Bullock (Lab) 24,520
Derek Stone (C) 9,855


Elected: Raymond Mallon (Independent)
Electorate: 101,570 Turnout: 41,994 (41.34%)

First Count

Raymond Mallon (ND) 26,362 (62.78%)
Ms Sylvia Connolly (Lab) 9,653 (22.99%)
Joe Michna (LD) 3,820 (9.10%)
Ronald Darby (C) 1,510 (3.60%)
Jeffrey Fowler (Soc All) 352 (0.84%)
Rod Jones (Ind) 297 (0.71%)


Elected: Sir Robin Wales (Labour)
Electorate: 157,505 Turnout: 40,147 (25.49%)

First Count

Sir Robin Wales (Lab) 20,384 (50.77%)
Tawfique Choudhury (Ind) 5,907 (14.71%)
Graham Postles (C) 4,635 (11.55%)
Alan Craig (CPA) 3,649 (9.09%)
Michael Davidson (BNP) 2,881 (7.18%)
Ms Gabrielle Rolfe (Green) 2,691 (6.70%)

North Tyneside

Elected: Chris Morgan
Electorate: 143,804; Turnout: 60,865 (42.32%)

First Count

Chris Morgan (C) 21,829 (35.86%)
Eddie Darke (Lab) 19,601 (32.20%)
Michael Huscroft (LD) 12,323 (20.25%)
Allan Pond (Ind PF) 4,993 (8.20%)
Michael Elliott (Soc All) 2,119 (3.48%)
- Eliminated: Michael Huscroft, Allan Pond, Michael Elliott

Second Count

- Distribution of Huscroft's, Pond's and Elliott's votes
Chris Morgan (C) 26,083
Eddie Darke (Lab) 24,531


Elected: Ms Dorothy Thornhill (Liberal Democrats)
Electorate: 61,359 Turnout: 22,170 (36.13%)

First Count

Ms Dorothy Thornhill (LD) 10,954 (49.41%)
Vince Muspratt (Lab) 4,899 (22.10%)
Garry Ling (C) 4,746 (21.41%)
Stephen Rackett (Green) 851 (3.84%)
Paul Woodward (Soc All) 390 (1.76%)
Anthony Cooke (FCP) 330 (1.49%)
- Eliminated: Garry Ling, Stephen Rackett, Paul Woodward, Anthony Cooke

Second Count

- Distribution of Ling's, Cooke's, Woodward's and Rackett's votes
Ms Dorothy Thornhill (LD) 13,473
Vince Muspratt (Lab) 5,269