We have a municipal election in London on October 22  and a brand new voting system that will help select our city leaders.    This system is so new that London will actually be the first city in Canada to use it but there is some confusion over how the ranked ballot system works.   Under the traditional first past the post system, voters in London selected just one candidate for councillor and one for mayor, and the candidate with the highest number of votes won.  Under the new system, Voters have the option of selecting up to three candidates, and ranking them by preference: 1st choice, 2nd choice, 3rd choice.  The candidate who receives 50 percent plus one vote will be elected, but the process of determining that percentage is a little confusing.


Counting begins after the polls close at 8 p.m.  Electronic tabulators will be used to perform the count (we are not counting by hand).

We have 15 separate races to count:

  • 1 Mayor

  • 14 Wards

We begin by counting all of the first choice votes in a race. If a candidate in that race has received 50 percent plus one of the votes, they are declared the winner.


If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one of the votes, then the candidate who received the least amount of votes is eliminated from the race.


The votes earned by the remaining candidates are carried forward to the next round of counting. The eliminated candidate’s ballots are redistributed to the remaining candidates, this time using the next choice indicated on those ballots.  All of the votes are then counted again.


If any of the remaining candidates received 50 percent plus one of the votes, they are elected.  If not, the process of elimination is repeated until a winner is declared.


After round(s) of elimination have occurred and only two candidates remain, the candidate with the most votes wins.


Still confused? Here’s a video to help explain it.

City of London 


Filed under: municipal election 2018