Local Government elections are prescribed by the Local Electoral Act 2001 (LEA). As per sections 5A and 5B of the LEA 2001, the Council can use one of two electoral systems:
First Past the Post (FPP)
Voters have as many votes as there are available positions.
- Example: the Feilding ward has 5 positions and 11 candidates. You are able to place a tick by the names of up to 5 candidates, but cannot rank them in any particular order.
- The 5 candidates with the most votes across the ward are elected.
Single Transferable Voting (STV)
Voters only have one vote and must select their top choice, but can rank-order some (or all) of the remaining candidates (e.g., 2, 3, 4 ...) regardless of how many available positions there are.
- Example: the Feilding ward has 5 positions and 11 candidates. You are able to rank each candidate from 1 (favourite) down to 11 (least favourite).
- Your 1st ranking is your vote, but the system may take your lower rankings into account, depending on whether your first choice needed your vote to be elected. If they were too popular to need your vote or did not receive enough votes in total to get in, then the system will defer to your lower rankings to help select another candidate. A fuller explanation of this process can be found here.
Electoral System for triennial elections in 2019 and 2022
At its meeting held 17 August 2017, the Council agreed that the electoral system to be used for the triennial general elections of the Council would be the First Past the Post (FPP) system.
A public notice of the right of the public to demand a poll to countermand the resolution was given on 24 August 2017. The closing date for a valid demand to hold a poll was 21 February 2018.
This decision applied to both the 2019 and 2022 elections and continues in effect until either the Council makes a further resolution on the matter, or a poll of electors is held.
Electoral System for triennial elections in 2025 and 2028
The next opportunity to change the electoral system will be in 2023. The Council will consider which electoral system it wishes to use for the next two triennial elections (2025 and 2028) - if the Council wishes to change to the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system, it must make a formal resolution to this effect no later than 12 September 2023.
The Council must release a public notice no later than 19 September 2023, advising residents of whether it intends to continue with First Past the Post (FPP), or shift to Single Transferable Vote (STV), and informing the public of their right to demand a poll on this issue (under section 28 of the Local Electoral Act 2001).