EXPLANATION OF IDEA
The candidate preselection method is a two stage voting process that results in a larger proportion of people voting for the eventual winner, and eliminates the need (or temptation) for tactical voting.
The first stage takes place three weeks before a general election. During this stage, a percentage of the voters (around 10% in the average seat) are asked to submit their votes by post. The two candidates that receive the most votes in each constituency are the ones that can be voted for in the second stage. The other candidates, now out of the race, can offer their support to one of the remaining ones. This show of support may be officially shown on the voting slip, so people paying less attention to political events can still choose to follow the wishes of their chosen party in the voting booth.
This is similar to a runoff voting system but it has the advantage of being cheaper than organising an entire second election day, and avoiding “voter fatigue” where everybody has to vote twice. The percentage of voters involved in the first stage will be different in every constituency depending on previous voter turnout and on how close candidates are in opinion polls – in very close constituencies many more people will be polled, to ensure the result is fair.
These voters will be chosen randomly from the electoral roll. They will receive the voting form by post and will have a week to fill it in and send it back to the electoral office, using the same system as current postal votes. Once these votes are counted, the campaign resumes for the two candidates left in each constituency. When candidates that are no longer in the race choose to support one of the two left, the votes they would have received in a first-past-the-post system are no longer lost.
• Fairer than First Past The Post
o Avoids vote-splitting
o Avoids tactical voting
o Guarantees that a majority has voted for the winner
• Simpler than Single Transferrable Vote
o Each voter only ever has to vote for their favourite candidate
• Cheaper and easier than Runoff
o Still only one polling day
o Should not reduce turnout like a runoff system can