The Wellington election results

October 13th, 2013 at 2:24 pm by David Farrar



This is how the vote went for the WCC Mayoral election, on the provisional results.

  1. Celia Wade-Brown won 38% of the first preferences to 34% for John Morrison
  2. Jack Yan picked up the biggest slice of Karuna Muthu’s first preferences
  3. John Morrison picked up the biggest slice of Rob Goulden’s preferences
  4. Nicola Young’s support split three ways – 30% to Wade-Brown and Yan and 40% to Morrison.
  5. At this point there is only 3% in it and Yan has 18%.
  6. But Yan’s votes go 55% Wade-Brown and 45% Morrison giving her a 4.4% margin

Of interest 4,363 voters did not fully rank all preferences and hence did not get a say in the final decision between Morrison and Wade-Brown. This is a larger number that the margin of 2,284. Now they presumably made a conscious decision that they thought both candidates were equally undesirable (which is a perfectly appropriate view to have), but it does show the importance of ranking all preferences if you do want as full a say as possible.

I am voting for STV

November 23rd, 2011 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I will be voting to change New Zealand’s electoral system from MMP to STV. Having spent many months considering the pros and cons of the five systems, I believe STV is the best system for New Zealand. It retains proportional representation, does away with List MPs, weakens the powers of party hierarchies, and effectively turns every electorate into a marginal seat.

Before I go into the full list of reasons why I think STV is the best system for New Zealand, let’s start with the pros and cons of MMP. As always I stress no system is universally good or bad. It is a trade off.

Good aspects of MMP

  • Almost all votes count
  • Votes are equal
  • Proportional
  • Fair to minor parties
  • Increased diversity

MMP is definitely an improvement over FPP. But there are aspects of it I don’t like.

  • List MPs are indirectly elected through party lists, rather than receiving a direct mandate from voters
  • Party leaders and hierarchies have become far more powerful through their ability to rank the list
  • MPs who get rejected by voters, can remain in Parliament
  • Two classes of MPs – electorate and list, which receive different funding, status and treatment
  • Stability of Government. In all five terms we’ve seen a Government minor party implode under the strain. NZ First 96 – 99, Alliance 99 – 02, United Future 02 – 05, NZ First 05 – 08, Maori Party and ACT 08 – 11.
  • Minor parties are encouraged to be extreme to attract votes as there is no downside to alienating most voters
  • The vast amount of time and energy spent on tactical voting, and coverage of it

So why am I backing STV? First a summary of how STV will work.

  • 24 – 30 electorates with 3 – 7 MPs per electorate
  • Just one vote for candidates
  • You rank candidates in order of preference, or accept the recommended preference order of a political party
  • Surplus votes from candidates get transferred to the next preference, as do votes from candidates who are eliminated as lowest polling

Here’s what I like about STV

  • It is still a proportional system where basically all votes count, and treats votes equally. It is not as pure a proportional system as MMP, but it is definitely still proportional, not semi-proportional such as SM.
  • All MPs get elected directly by the voters. No List MPs whose main accountability is to their party.
  • While a party can list its preferred order, voters can ignore them and rank candidates as they see fit. Voters can over-turn a party ranking.
  • Better access to electorate MPs. While electorates are larger, there are multiple MPs in each. 120 rather than 70 electorate MPs makes them more accessible.
  • Every seat will have a National and Labour MP. Almost inevitably every (general) seat will have at least one National and one Labour MP. That means people can choose to go to the electorate MP they are most comfortable with.
  • There will effectively be a cross-party caucus in each seat of MPs from National, Labour and sometimes a minor part. On common issues affecting their area, they will be able to work together to advance change as all of equal status.
  • All seats are marginal! Well, not quite. But what I mean is that in every seat there is the potential for National or Labour (or a minor party) to gain an additional MP. This means every seat will be contested vigorously. Even in a safe Labour area like South Auckland, you will have say one definite National MP, five definite Labour MPs and a battle for the 7th seat.
  • The quality of candidates should be greatly improved. Under FPP you can put up a donkey in a safe seat and they get elected. Under MMP a baboon can be a highly ranked List MP and they are impossible to dislodge. However with almost every seat under STV being competitive, parties will be incentivised to select candidates who actually appeal to their local communities, rather than reward unelectable unionists and the like.
  • Under MMP minor parties make it on 5% of the vote, which encourages parties like NZ First to appeal to a narrow segment, without concern for how much they offend the rest of the country (such as their attacks on Asian immigrants). Under STV a minor party will generally only get elected if people who are not first preference voters for them, are willing to still give them a reasonable ranking, so it should encourage less extreme policies.

So I am voting for change in Part A and voting for STV in Part B. I am firmly convinced that STV will be a superior electoral system for New Zealand, retaining many of the good aspects of MMP such as proportional representation, but getting rid of many of the bad aspects of MMP.

Incidentally STV does not advantage National, and in fact on the modelling done of 2008 and 2005 elections probably mildly disadvantages it. My preference is based on what is good for New Zealand, not what is good for National.

Will Winston decide again?

November 18th, 2011 at 11:05 am by David Farrar

My Herald column looks at what happens if Winston decides again.

This means that Winston Peters will decide who gets to be Prime Minister of New Zealand for the third time out of six MMP elections. In 1996 he chose Jim Bolger over Helen Clark, in 2005 he chose Helen Clark over Don Brash and if he holds the balance of power in 2011, make no mistake he will choose Phil Goff over John Key, and there will be a Government that can only pass a law if it can get the Greens, Winston, Hone, and the Maori Party to all agree to it.

And imagine the blowout in spending and debt!

Again polls have shown a certain reluctance for National voters to tactically vote for ACT. I speak often to many National supporters in Epsom. To a person, they all want National to have a coalition partner to the right (economically) of National. The debate is whether ACT in its crippled state is worth saving, or whether you do the humane thing and put it to sleep with some electoral euthanasia, allowing a new party to arise phoenix like from the ashes.

The prospect of Winston Peters installing Phil Goff as Prime Minister should be sufficient to resolve that debate. If they do not vote for John Banks, then a change of Government becomes significantly more likely.

Epsom voters now have a clear choice.

MMP is perfect for demagogues such as Peters. He selects who will be on his party list, and they become MPs based on his personal popularity, despite the fact 99% of New Zealanders could not tell you who the top six candidates on his list are. Their loyalty is purely to him, not to the New Zealand public.

STV will still deliver broadly proportional results, but candidates will have to actually be someone whom voters rank high enough with their ballots, to elect to Parliament. This should result in a significant improvement of the quality of candidates, if there is no backdoor through a party list.

I will blog more fully next week on the merits of STV.

Results from an informal electoral system survey

November 16th, 2011 at 10:42 am by David Farrar

On Twitter and Facebook I did an informal survey asking people how they will vote in Part B of the Referendum. I did not ask about Part A. The results were:

Twitter Facebook Total Twitter % Facebook % Total %
FPP           4               1       5 10% 3% 7%
PV           2               1       3 5% 3% 4%
SM           8             22     30 21% 63% 41%
STV         25             11     36 64% 31% 49%
        39             35     74 100% 100% 100%

The difference between the Facebook responses and the Twitter responses are interesting. Twitter people went massively for STV while Facebook went massively for SM. Very few people went for FPP or PV. Almost all those who chose FPP said they were doing so tactically as they were MMP supporters, and see FPP as the system least likely to win in 2014 if there is a second referendum.

Some tentative conclusions I draw.

  1. Those on Twitter and Facebook (well those who follow me anyway) are far more politically astute than the general population, as FPP is by far the most popular option with the public who only know FPP and MMP, but very few picked it in this survey.
  2. If one assumes that those who punted for SM tend to be more right leaning, it suggests that people on Twitter are more left-leaning. This reinforces my general impression over a couple of years.
  3. I think those who are of a different political persuasion to each other are generally more willing to engage on Twitter, than on Facebook. You tend to see someone’s Facebook page as “their property” so don’t challenge them as much, while Twitter is seen as basically neutral ground and one gets far more challenging of views.
  4. Most MMP supporters will vote for STV and most MMP opponents will vote for SM, at least amongst the politically aware. This is based on my general knowledge of those who responded. I didn’t ask about Part A as I didn’t want it to turn into a debate on MMP. I may do a later informal survey on Part A.

I’m still amazed that to the best of my knowledge there are no TV debates scheduled on the referendum. Sure there has been the odd segment on Breakfast TV or Close Up where proponents have exchanged views. But I think the referendum deserves the same scrutiny as the election. There should be a 60 to 90 minute debate or debates. I’d do it like a leader’s debates. Have a couple of proponents for keep MMP and change MMP and a panel of journalists questioning them. Pretty much like Radio NZ did it, but you know on TV where you reach massively more viewers.

How STV may have worked in 2008

November 14th, 2011 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

STV is very different to all the other electoral systems in the referendum. All the others have one MP per electorate, and some have List MPs on top of that.

STV has multiple MPs per electorate, and no List MPs. It is reasonably proportional, and all MPs are voted in directly by voters, rather than through party lists. That’s one of the reasons I like it. I think MMP gives party leaders far far too much power.

It is difficult to sum STV up in a couple of paragraphs, so what Stephen Russell has done is model what might have happened in the 2008 election under STV. His full paper is embedded at the end of this post.

Each electorate would have 3 to 7 MPs in it. Now yes the electorate boundaries are bigger than under MMP, but access to an electorate MP would be easier, as you would have 120 of them., not 70. And they are all of equal status. Even better, almost all seats will have a National and a Labour MP, so if you want you can choose which one you see. And where a party has multiple MPs per seat, they will probably locate them at different ends of the electorate.

You can click on an image for a larger version.

And this is the modeled boundaries for Auckland under STV.

So what would the results be? The paper has all the assumptions over how preferences would flow.

STV electorate MPs Parties
1 Northern Maori 7  Maori 5, Lab 2
2 Southern Maori 5  Maori 3, Lab 2
3 Southland 3  Nat 2, Lab 1
4 Otago 5  Nat 2, Lab 2, Gre 1
5 Canterbury-West Coast 5  Nat 3, Lab 2
6 Christchurch South 5  Nat 2, Lab 2, Prog 1
7 Christchurch North 5  Nat 3, Lab 2
8 Top of the South 4  Nat 2, Lab 2
9 Wellington 5  Lab 2, Nat 1, Gre 1, UF 1
10 Hutt-Porirua 5  Lab 3, Nat 2
11 Manawatu 5  Nat 3, Lab 2
12 West Central 5  Nat 3, Lab 2
13 Hawke’s Bay-Wairarapa 5  Nat 3, Lab 2
14 East Cape 5  Nat 3, Lab 2
15 Kaimai 5  Nat 3, Lab 1, NZF 1
16 Waikato South 5  Nat 3, Lab 2
17 Waikato North 5  Nat 4, Lab 1
18 Tamaki 5  Nat 4, Lab 1
19 Manukau 5  Lab 4, Nat 1
20 Central Auckland 5 Nat 2, Lab 2, ACT 1
21 One Tree Hill 5  Lab 3, Nat 2
22 Waitakere 6  Nat 4, Lab 2
23 North Shore 5  Nat 3, Lab 2
24 Northland 5  Nat 3, Lab 2
TOTAL 120 Nat 58, Lab 48, Maori 8, Gre 2, NZF 1, Prog 1, ACT 1, UF 1

The Gallagher Index (which measures proportionality) is:

PARTY                VOTE%                             SEATS SEATS%

National            44.9                    58          48.33

Labour               34.0                    48          40

Maori                 2.4                       8            6.67

Green                 6.7                      2            1.67

Act                      3.7                       1            0.83

United               0.9                       1            0.83

Progressive       0.9                       1            0.83

NZ First              4.1                       1            0.83

Gallagher Index:  7.1

Now on this scenario (and that is all it is), National actually ends up worse off. Their number of seats is the same as under MMP, but Labour gets five more seats. National/ACT/United would be 60/120 seats so the Maori Party would have held the balance of power.

Stephen has also done a quick analysis of the 2005 election, and estimates it s outcome under STV would be:

  • Labour    56
  • National    53
  • Maori     6
  • Green    1
  • Act    1
  • United    1
  • Progressive    1
  • NZ First     1

That would again give the Maori Party the balance of power.

I tend to think that the minor parties would do a bit better under STV than this model shows. Stephen has modeled that 45% of National voters would make Labour their 2nd choice, and I think it would be lower than that.

Overall a very interesting look at how STV could work. Like I said, what I like about the system is that it is both roughly proportional, and that all MPs are elected directly from the voters. This should encourage higher quality candidates. If (for example) Labour wants to win that third seat in One Tree Hill, they won’t be putting up a union hack who doesn’t even live there – instead they’ll be putting up someone known in their local community who has the ability to attract the extra votes needed.

STV Applied to 2008 Result Nov 14 2011

Map/design skills

November 2nd, 2011 at 12:25 pm by David Farrar

In the not too distant future I hope to blog about STV and show off how it may have worked in 2008. Part of this involves dividing NZ into 25 “multi-member” electorates by combining existing electorates together. We then project what the results in each electorate would have been.

What would be great, if if someone with better skills than me could do maps of NZ, Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington showing the boundaries for the STV electorates, based on which electorates are combined together.

If this is something you can do quite easily, then please e-mail me. You’ll be helping increase the awareness of Kiwis about the electoral system referendum, so less likely to spend centuries in purgatory 🙂


Electoral Referendum Bill Report

November 22nd, 2010 at 2:51 pm by David Farrar

The Electoral Referendum Bill has also been reported back. Major aspects are:

  • Comes into force 1 Jan 2011
  • aligns advertising rules with Electoral Act, including $300,000 spending limit
  • MMP to only be reviewed if people vote for it to remain, not if they vote for change. So any run-off referendum will be with the current version of MMP
  • Order of alternate voting systems to be alphabetical
  • ballot papers will not be counted on E Day, but the results of advance votes will be known which should indicate the likely result
  • The SM option has been defined as a 90/30 option. This is quite significant as it means it will be significantly less proportional than MMP. My preferred SM option would be 70/50 as MMP currently has. On the plus side a 90/30 system will have smaller electorate seats.

The question in Part A has been modified to be:

Should New Zealand keep the Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) voting system?

The options are:

  • I vote to keep the MMP voting system
  • I vote to change to another voting system

The select committee has done a diligent job with the bill. Politically I believe a majority will vote to retain MMP, especially with the SM option being significantly disproportional.

The Porirua Mayoralty

October 14th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Porirua also elects their Mayor with STV, so I figured I would also look at how their election went. There were five main candidates (and four others) – Cr Nick forLeggett, Deputy Mayor Litea Ah Hoa, former Race Relations Conciliator Gregory Fortuin, Cr Liz Kelly, former Cabinet Minister Russell Marshall and Mike Duncan.

On 1st preferences the results were:

  1. Leggett 37%
  2. Ah Hoy 18%
  3. Fortuin 13%
  4. Kelly 10%
  5. Marshall 8%

After eliminating the four minor candidates, it was:

  1. Leggett 42%
  2. Ah Hoy 20%
  3. Fortuin 16%
  4. Kelly 12%
  5. Marshall 10%

So Leggett picked up the plurality of the vote from the minors.  Then Marshall dropped out:

  1. Leggett 45%
  2. Ah Hoy 22%
  3. Fortuin 18%
  4. Kelly 14%

Kelly went next:

  1. Leggett 52%
  2. Ah Hoy 26%
  3. Fortuin 22%

So Leggett won quite easily – and with an iteration to spare.  What helped him is that he picked up a plurality of the preferences from each defeated candidate as they dropped out (except for the first two minor ones).

Leggett started off with fewer first preferences that Kerry Prendergast. But as he was not the incumbent Mayor, he was able to pick up many of the second preferences from candidates as they dropped out. This is harder for an incumbent to do, as people often rate you first or last.

Why Kerry lost

October 12th, 2010 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The impending loss of Kerry Prendergast has some saying that it was due to a bad campaign. But in fact my analysis suggests it was more tactical voting on the left. Kerry in fact got a significantly higher proportion of first preferences in 2010 than 2007.

In 2007 Kerry got 17,910 first preferences, which was 34.9%. She lifted that significantly in 2010 to 21,597 first preferences or 41.0%.

So Kerry’s vote went up by 3,687 or 20.6% relative to her 2007 vote, an absolute lift of 6.1 percentage points.

So I’d say Kerry (probably) lost for three reasons:

  1. The STV system was better used by the left, with their preferences staying with other left candidates
  2. There was only one really viable alternative – not three as in 2007
  3. Celia Wade-Brown did run a good campaign (and other Council candidates campaigned on her behalf)


I now have fuller details of the preliminary results. As each candidate was eliminated, this is how his votes went:

  1. Mansell dropped out first with 535 votes which went 10% Kerry, 21% Celia, 54% Others and 15% wasted
  2. Bernard dropped out second with 1161 votes which went 13% Kerry, 28% Celia, 45% Others and 14% wasted
  3. Brian dropped out third with 5891 votes which went 15% Kerry, 41% Celia, 21% Yan and 23% wasted
  4. Jack Yan dropped out fourth with 7,341 votes which went 24% Kerry, 46% Celia and 29% wasted

There were 2,140 people who voted for Jack Yan but did not give either Kerry or Celia a preference.

Understanding STV

October 2nd, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Graeme Edgeler at Public Address has an excellent Q&A on STV. One or two blogs that purport to be specialist local body blogs have shown a dismal lack of knowledge on how STV works. They should also link to Graeme’s analysis. Some extracts:

But is it a good idea to rank everyone?


But if I give someone I don’t like a rank, couldn’t this hurt the chances of candidates I like more?


Your lower preferences cannot ever harm the election prospects of anyone you rank higher than them.

This is key. Don’t try and be strategic and working out who is most popular and hence I will rank them lower as they don’t need my vote etc. Just rank candidates in order of your true actual preference.

But what if I really don’t want to rank everyone?

You don’t have to. If there are a bunch of people whom you think are just as bad each other, or you know nothing about, your vote will still count. If the election comes down to race between people you haven’t ranked, you won’t help determine the result, but if you don’t mind which of them is elected, this shouldn’t bother you too much.

But if there’s someone I really really don’t want elected, I should rank everyone else above them


This is again on the mark. If you have no opinions on a group of candidates you can leave them unranked. However if there is a candidate you definitely do not want to be elected, then you should rank all candidates and rank them bottom.

An informed vote is always a good idea.

Even for the District Health Board?

Okay, you got me. Health Board elections are stupid.

Yes they are. Please National get rid of them.

MMP Referenda

October 20th, 2009 at 4:08 pm by David Farrar

Simon Power has announced the process for referenda on the electoral system, and I am very pleased with the final process.

I blogged a few weeks ago that I was very concern that there seemed to be some talk of having people vote only once on retaining MMP, without knowing the alternative. But the Government has announced, well basically, exactly what I advocated (which I am sure is merely because it really is the common sense way to do it).

The process is:

  1. Parliament passes a law enabling a first referendum to be held in conjunction with 2011 election
  2. The first referendum will have two questions – the first question being do you want to continue with MMP or have an alternative system
  3. The second question will be to select your preferred alternative – the options are likely to be STV, FPP, PV and SM
  4. If the first question is a vote to retain MMP, the second question is academic and that is the end of it.
  5. If the first question votes for change, then a second referendum will be held giving people a binary choice between MMP and the preferred alternative (the highest ranking option from the second question)
  6. The second referendum will be held at the 2014 election
  7. Enabling legislation for an electoral system based on the alternate electoral system will be passed prior to the 2014 election, and it will automatically come into force if the alternative system wins
  8. The 2017 election would be run under the new electoral system, if there is a change

As I said, it is really good to see there is a fair process – basically a mirror of the 1992/93 referenda.

I find it interesting that in my unscientific blog poll, 47% back MMP, 23% STV, and only 20% FPP. Personally I think it is highly unlikely that we would vote to return to FPP.

A run off between STV and MMP could be interesting as they are both proportional electoral systems, but operate very very differently.

At large Councillors may be gone

August 28th, 2009 at 6:33 am by David Farrar

Bernard Orsman reports:

The Government has dropped a controversial plan to have councillors elected at large on the Auckland Super City.

This follows widespread opposition to the proposal for eight at-large councillors and 12 ward councillors on the Super Auckland Council.

The Royal Commission actually proposed 10 at-large Councillors and only 10 ward councillors. The at large proposal is well motivated. The idea was that these Councillors would put the region ahead of their ward.

But I have blogged consistently against the at large since the Commission proposed them, and am glad they have been dropped. I don’t think you would have got sensible voting if Aucklanders were having to choose 8 or 10 at large Councillors for a possible pool of 40 to 50.

It is understood the Government is considering a halfway house with six urban wards, each with three councillors elected within the ward at large. There would also be two rural wards for Franklin and Rodney with one councillor each.

My preference would be for the wards to elect one Councillor each. This keeps the wards small, and increases the chance that you will know something about the Councillors you vote for, rather than just go off name recognition.

In fact ideally I would have the wards mirror the parliamentary districts.

Brian Rudman agrees with me that smaller wards is preferable to six multi-member wards. That’s almost enough to make me reconsider my position 🙂

Rudman proposes STV be used to stop winner takes all in the wards. Now initially I think it is appropriate the elections be FPP as that is what almost all the fomer Auckland Councils used. The Local Electoral Act makes it a decision for local voters via referendum if they wish to move from FPP to STV or vice-versa.

My experience of STV in local body elections is that I think it works well for single vacancies. In other words it is good for voting for the Mayor as you usually know enough about the Mayoral candidates to sensibly rank them.

For multi-member vacancies like DHBs, it is a nightmare. Ranking 32 people in order is near impossible to do sensibly. If Auckland goes with single member wards, STV would work well. With multi-member wards, my concern is that too many candidates will stand to make ranking them a sensible exercise.

Wellington sticks with STV – just

September 27th, 2008 at 5:06 pm by David Farrar

Wellington City voters have elected to remain with STV, but with a razor thin margin of 524 476.

The voter turnout was a low 33.2%, and the the votes for STV was 50.54% and FPP 49.46%.

Put another way, 16.73% of Wellington City residents voted for STV and 16.37% for FPP.

STV vs FPP for Wellington

September 8th, 2008 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Poneke has voted for STV in the Wellington referendum, despite earlier calling it a failure.

I blogged my views in March:

Now I actually support STV in many types of elections. In fact I introduced constitutional changes to InternetNZ so that candidates are elected by what is effectively STV, not FPP. National uses a form of STV for its internal elections for candidates and the board. I like and support STV in situations where it works well.

STV works well when the voter has a relatively small number of candidates to choose from, and they know most or all of the candidates. When you know the candidates you can quite easily make an intelligent choice about ranking X No 1, Y No 2 etc.

However STV is an unmitigated disaster for DHBs and a partial disaster for Councils. …

With regard to Councils, it is not quite as bad.  I actually like STV for voting for the Mayor. There is only one position to fill and it is possible to fairly sensibly rank say half a dozen candidates for Mayor. I like being able to express a second and third preference should my first preference fail to be elected.

But then when you come to wards, it becomes near useless again because again not even the political geeks can sensibly rank say 15 people competing for three Council positions. And so we have a 10% fall in turnout over two elections.  If you want to keep STV then you need small one person wards.

I could advocate STV for the Mayor, and FPP for Council but that may be too confusing.  So if WCC is to have one electoral system only, then FPP is best.

My position has not changed. Sadly I am going to vote for FPP.

However my preference would be to have smaller single Councillor wards, as if that happened then I think STV would work fine for both Mayor and Council.

Should WCC keep STV?

March 6th, 2008 at 11:31 pm by David Farrar

Poneke blogs that Wellington City Council should ditch STV – an issue they are going to consult on. I agree.

Now I actually support STV in many types of elections. In fact I introduced constitutional changes to InternetNZ so that candidates are elected by what is effectively STV, not FPP. National uses a form of STV for its internal elections for candidates and the board. I like and support STV in situations where it works well.
STV works well when the voter has a relatively small number of candidates to choose from, and they know most or all of the candidates. When you know the candidates you can quite easily make an intelligent choice about ranking X No 1, Y No 2 etc.

However STV is an unmitigated disaster for DHBs and a partial disaster for Councils.

Even the most politically active geek has no idea who 80% of the candidates for the DHB are. Trying to rank 30 of them in order based on who wrote the best 200 word bio is just insane, and it is no surprise turnouts are so low.

If one insisted on keeping STV for DHBs, then you would need very very small wards with one vacancy per ward.  That way you may end up just raking say four or five people for one local spot – something which might be possible if they are fairly well known locals.  Of course whether you want to have geographical segmentation like that for DHBs is another issue.

With regard to Councils, it is not quite as bad.  I actually like STV for voting for the Mayor. There is only one position to fill and it is possible to fairly sensibly rank say half a dozen candidates for Mayor. I like being able to express a second and third preference should my first preference fail to be elected.

But then when you come to wards, it becomes near useless again because again not even the political geeks can sensibly rank say 15 people competing for three Council positions. And so we have a 10% fall in turnout over two elections.  If you want to keep STV then you need small one person wards.

I could advocate STV for the Mayor, and FPP for Council but that may be too confusing.  So if WCC is to have one electoral system only, then FPP is best.