Byelection voting


Sir, – Responding to Barry Walsh’s letter (May 26th) about a candidate reaching the quota in the upcoming Dublin Bay South byelection, Paul Walsh (Letters, May 27th) writes: “To be elected it is only necessary to be ahead of any other remaining candidate when all votes have been transferred”.

Well, yes, but there is another plausible way by which a candidate can be elected without reaching the quota.

A scenario: two candidates contest a byelection. The valid poll is 60,000. The quota is 30,001. All the votes cast consist entirely of first preferences – so no transfers are involved.

The two candidates receive exactly 30,000 votes each.

With no candidate reaching the quota, lots would have to be drawn to determine which candidate takes the seat.

Of course, it goes without saying that several recounts would have to take place prior to the drawing of the lots. – Yours, etc,




Co Dublin.