Preferential counting

The preferential counting system is used when only one person is to be elected.

The preferential counting system is used when only one person is to be elected.

This is the case for the State Legislative Assembly (Lower House) as each district has one representative. Local council elections use this system when a ward (part of a local council) is represented by a single councillor.

Full preferential counting

To win an election that is being counted using the preferential system, the candidate must have more than half of the total votes. This is known as an absolute majority.

Election officials count all of the number "1" votes (first preferences) for each candidate. If a candidate gets more than half the total first preference votes, that candidate is elected.

If none of the candidates has an absolute majority, the candidate with the smallest number of first preference votes is excluded. That candidate's ballot papers are then transferred to the remaining candidates according to the second preferences that have been marked.

If there is still no candidate with an absolute majority, then the candidate who now has the fewest votes is excluded. That candidate's votes are transferred to the remaining candidates according to the preferences marked on them. This process continues until one candidate has an absolute majority and the candidate is then declared elected.

For further information please view our Preferential counting slideshow which illustrates the full preferential counting process.

Further information for candidates

Information on the preferential counting system for candidates is available in the relevant Candidate Handbook.

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