Multiple choices in the voting-booth
Saturday 13 March 1993
Voting is compulsory in Australia. Although fines are modest and enforcement not always consistent, turn-outs of more than 90 per cent are the norm. In the polling-booth voters are confronted by a ballot-paper with one candidate from each party, just as in British elections, but instead of marking a cross against only one name, they number them in order of preference.
Any candidate who gets more than half the first preference votes wins immediately; otherwise the bottom candidate is eliminated and the second preferences reallocated. If there is still no winner, the last candidate drops out, preferences are reallocated, and so on until someone is elected. The system is more complicated than Britain's, but answers many of the criticisms directed against other methods of voting - there is only one MP in each constituency, for example. Australian elections also produce a clear political result more often than not.
The above method is for electing the 148 members of the House of Representatives. Half the 76 members of the less powerful upper house, the Senate, are chosen each time state by state. Each party enters slates of candidates equal to the number of seats, which means having to compete against your colleagues to be top of the list.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 3 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 4 General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
- 5 Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
The four utterly contradictory polls that tell the story of this election and why it is pointless trying to predict the outcome
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Prospect of Labour-SNP coalition makes one in four voters less likely to support Ed Miliband, says survey
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading and fastest ...
£16000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...
£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the count...
£5120 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the countr...