The Single Transferable Vote
Leads to an electoral result which is more proportional – percentage of votes for party roughly equal to percentage of seats gained
For example in the 2012 Scottish Local Government election, the SNP gained 32% of first choice votes and were awarded 35% of councillors across Scotland. Labour had 32% of first choice votes and gained 32% of councillors across Scotland.
CONFLICT BETWEEN DIFFERENT COUNCILLORS IN WARDS
Because there are 3-4 councillors in each ward in Scotland there can be conflict over who is in charge. This is especially true because councillors tend to be from different parties.
An Audit Scotland report in 2010 found that councillor/councillor relationships have been poor for several years. Relationships between councillors have been influenced by political difficulties and instability. Political tension has led to confrontation in council chambers. Relationships between councillors and officers have not always been constructive or effective with some officers reporting incidences of bullying and inappropriate behaviour.
CREATES COALITIONS OR COUNCILS WITH NO OVERALL CONTROL WHICH IS GOOD
STV means that it is harder for one party to dominate a local authority. It is more likely that two or more parties will have to work together in a coalition or that the authority operates with no single party in overall control which means that parties have to work together.
Before STV was used in local government elections, councils across Scotland were dominated by Labour. The introduction of the STV means that more parties are represented and have a say in Scotland’s 32 local authorities – arguably more democratic.
CREATES COALITIONS OR COUNCILS WITH NO OVERALL CONTROL WHICH IS BAD
STV has led to a lack of cooperation at local authority level and has made it harder for councils to agree on policies and get things done.
Currently there are a number of unlikely coalitions such as the Labour Conservative coalitions in East Lothian and Stirling. In these situations two political enemies have joined forces to keep out the SNP which is arguably unfair. In addition, people do not vote for coalitions which are more likely under the STV. After the 2012 election, 22 of Scotland’s 32 LAs have no party in overall control (NOC) and are run as minority/coalition councils.
Each ward has 3-4 councillors which means that residents in wards have a choice about who to contact with concerns.
For example, in Glasgow East Centre an SNP supporter might be more likely to approach the SNP councillor in the ward, Jennifer Dunn, rather than one of the Labour councillors for the area. Using STV means that people have the option.
TOO MANY REPRESENTATIVES
Each ward in Scotland has 3-4 councillors meaning that people may be confused as to who to approach with issues.
For example, Glasgow East Centre ward has 4 councillors – 3 Labour...