Monday, 18 May 2015

Perhaps next time it should be 'Peter ASHEARMAN'

Actually, standing in Eton Wick, this matters a bit less - it's a single seat ward with therefore significantly fewer candidates than other wards in Windsor and Maidenhead. Nevertheless, the recent local election results highlight how alphabetical listing impacts vote share.

I have analysed the RBWM results for those parties without incumbent councillors, who have a name recognition value, and found that out of 63 votes where more than one candidate for a party was on the ballot, on 50 occasions those higher up the ballot secured more votes. Furthermore, on average:

  • The first candidate on the list received 13% more votes than the second;
  • The second candidate on the list received 14% more votes than the third;
  • The first candidate received 27% more votes than the third on the list.

This is not a new phenomenon.

In future elections RBWM, and all other local authorities for that matter, should implement randomised ordering on ballots to address this bias.

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