Thomas Hill’s proportional representation election for schoolboys c. 1820
(Extract from "Your vote - effective or wasted?" ISBN 0 9598728 2 5 © Proportional Representation Society of Australia 1980)
The form of the
transferable vote in
multi-member electorates (PR-STV),
which is also known in
Rowland, knighted after his major reform
In this case, every boy could see
how the others voted. It was shown later
by Thomas Hare in England and Carl Andrae in
Denmark that the same method could be
used with secret voting. Voters can show
by preference markings on ballot papers
which candidates they support and where
they would transfer their support is it
was not needed by their first-preference
candidates. Instead of the boys grouping
support of candidates and eventually
arranging themselves in quotas, the
ballot papers would be examined and the
counting carried out as shown above.
Each stage of counting corresponds
exactly to one stage in the schoolboys'
For example, in an election with 40,000 votes to fill 7 vacancies, the result of dividing 40,000 by 8 is 5,000 and the quota is 5,001. If 7 candidates each have 5,001 votes, totalling 35,007, there are only 4,993 votes remaining. So only 7 quotas of 5,001 can be formed and this is the smallest number that gives this result. It can be left to the voters to decide how many preferences they wish to indicate. There is no need to compel them to indicate preferences for all candidates.