Essential Report

Preferred Voting System

Jul 11, 2011

Q. Which of the following voting systems would you prefer when voting for the Federal House of Representatives.

  • A preferential voting system where voters rank all candidates in order of preference.
  • An optional preferential system where voters can rank one, some, or all candidates in order of preference.
  • A “first past the post” system, where voters only vote for one candidate and the candidate with the most votes wins.
Total Vote Labor Vote Lib/Nat Vote Greens
Preferential 22% 31% 18% 30%
Optional preferential 26% 26% 24% 33%
First past the post 44% 40% 53% 31%
Don’t know 7% 4% 4% 6%

Of the three voting options given, 44% favoured “first past the post”, 26% optional preferential and 22% the current preferential system.

Optional preferential was most preferred by those aged under 35 (35%) while older groups strongly favoured first past the post (50% of aged 35-54 and 54% of aged 55+).

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