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United Kingdom Alternative Vote referendum, 2011
In the United Kingdom, the alternative vote referendum is a forthcoming public vote on whether to change the system for electing the House of Commons, the lower house of the national Parliament at Westminster. At present members are elected under the "first-past-the-post" (plurality) system; the question in the UK referendum will be whether to replace this with the alternative vote (AV) electoral system.
The referendum was agreed to as part of the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition Agreement drawn up after the 2010 general election. The proposal for a referendum was first put before Parliament in July 2010 and eventually assented to on 16 February 2011 as part of the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Act. This will be only the second time a referendum has been held throughout the whole of the United Kingdom in British history; the first occasion was the United Kingdom European Communities membership referendum, 1975. It will also be the first UK-wide referendum that is not merely consultative but legally binding on the executive branch of government, whatever the result.
The referendum will take place on Thursday 5 May 2011, in which all registered Parliamentary electors (i.e. British, Irish and Commonwealth citizens living in the UK and enrolled British citizens living overseas) who will be aged 18 or over on election day will be entitled to vote.
NOTE: Instant-runoff voting (IRV), also known as the alternative vote (AV), is a voting system used to elect one winner from a pool of candidates using preferential voting. Voters rank candidates in order of preference, and their votes are initially allocated to their first choice candidate. If after this initial count no candidate has a majority of votes cast, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated and votes for that candidate are redistributed according to the voters' second preferences. This process continues until one candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, upon which they are declared the winner.
IRV is employed by several jurisdictions in the United States, including San Francisco and Oakland, California, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Many private associations also use IRV, including the Hugo Awards for science fiction and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in selection of the Oscar for best picture.
NOTE: Originator will not participate in this market for 6 hours after opening or after 3 players have participated, whichever comes first.