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How did they vote? Voters' use of the STV ballot paper in the 2007 Scottish Local Elections

Curtice, J.K. and Marsh, M. (2008) How did they vote? Voters' use of the STV ballot paper in the 2007 Scottish Local Elections. Representation, 44 (4). pp. 285-300. ISSN 0034-4893

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Abstract

Advocates of STV claim it provides strong incentives to undertake constituency service. However, international experience indicates that candidate evaluations do not necessarily significantly influence how people complete a STV ballot. This paper analyses how voters in Scotland completed their ballot papers in the 2007 local elections, at which STV was used for the first time. Candidate evaluations mattered less than they do in Ireland, but mattered sufficiently to suggest there will be an incentive to provide constituency service.