There is a voting system that I read about that is very similar to Instant-runoff Voting; except that every participating candidate must also rank all other candidates.

This way the voter can still vote for a single candidate but choose to 'defer' to their chosen candidate's alternate choices (in the case that their chosen candidate is not a majority). So from the perspective of a voter accustomed to 'first-past-the-post'; filling out the ballot could be exactly the same while still operating in an IRV system.

The idea is to reduce the burden on the voter to learn about every candidate in order to rank them (when compared with regular IRV).

What is the name of this voting system?

  • 1
    What effect does the candidate's ranking by the other candidates have? Is it just a recommendation for the voters, a vote just like any other or does it have any actual special effect on the count?
    – Philipp
    Jul 20, 2016 at 8:30
  • @Philipp see edit.
    – F-PolitiG
    Jul 20, 2016 at 17:50
  • I remember reading about it on Wikipedia... but Wikipedia/Google searching is coming up blank. It's possible it was a Wikipedia knock-off site that just used similar formatting but was specific to voting systems or something like that.
    – F-PolitiG
    Jul 20, 2016 at 17:52
  • @F-PolitiG I suggest the page you read might have been en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_voting_ticket
    – origimbo
    Jul 21, 2016 at 10:49
  • Easy to see how this system would be gamed: multiple dummy candidates who defer to a chosen major candidate. It's just the IIA problem in the other direction. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_of_irrelevant_alternatives
    – Foo Bar
    Aug 9, 2016 at 15:29

1 Answer 1


This sounds like the system I understand to be used to elect the Australian Senate, where it is apparently known as "group voting tickets" or "above the line voting". I'm certainly not going to guarantee that it doesn't have other names in other places though. For example instant-runoff voting has also been called the alternative vote (the most common name in the UK) or preferential voting (also the name of the superclass of voting systems of which it is a member).

  • The voting system for the Australian (and some states) senate is called Single Transferable Vote (STV). The GVT system is a modification to STV. The recent senate reforms abandoned GVT in favour of ranking "above the line".
    – user8430
    Jul 21, 2016 at 9:30
  • I hadn't realised the system had changed, thank you. STV is another preferential voting scheme, but with the addition of proportionality in multiple member constituencies. I'm fairly sure that when electing a single winner STV and AV/IRV work identically.
    – origimbo
    Jul 21, 2016 at 10:46
  • STV and AV are different. For starters, you don't have surplus votes with AV. GVT isn't a system of voting but a modification to STV. The senate currently and previously uses(/d) STV. See en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Group_voting_ticket
    – user8430
    Jul 21, 2016 at 10:55
  • With a single winner no system has surplus votes, since there's nowhere to send them to.
    – origimbo
    Jul 21, 2016 at 11:06
  • we are starting to go off on a tangent. All I wanted to say is GVT is mod SVT. I gave you a +1 anyway.
    – user8430
    Jul 21, 2016 at 11:35

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