Letter: Methods for electing a successor to John Smith

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Sir: Why all this talk about Gordon Brown or Tony Blair standing aside? This is quite unnecessary if the ballot is held by the single transferable vote method and voters are required to give their order of preference for all candidates.

After the ballot the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and his or her votes passed to the second preferences shown on the voting papers. The candidate who then has fewest votes is also eliminated and the process repeated until there is a candidate with an overall majority. Counting takes a little longer, but all candidates take part.

Yours faithfully,


Pewsey, Wiltshire

16 May