Scots vote for candidates first in alpahbet

Scots voters are electing candidates whose name comes first in the alphabet - prompting claims that the "credibility of the system" is now at stake.

Nicola Sturgeon is to look at the voting system

Nicola Sturgeon has now agreed to an official review of the system after bring told that Glasgow City Council is populated by "a wheen of Aitkens, Balfours, Cullens and Dochertys."The anger stems from the single transferable voting system used at last week's council elections and sees parties which field more than one candidate being forced to list them in alphabetical order. Nationalist backbencher Kenneth Gibson told MSPs at First Minister Questions that voters then regularly pick the party candidate who comes first - regardless of experience or ability."The single transferable voting system produces results heavily biased in relation to surnames, regardless of vote management strategies that parties use to try and steer voters from one candidate to a party colleague," Mr Gibson said."In Glasgow, 40 of the 43 contests where two or more candidates from the same party stood, the individual within each party whose surname was closest to the beginning of the alphabet received the highest number of their party's votes."The SNP "randomises" its own internal ballots which means the names are listed in no particular order and Mr Gibson called for a similar approach for local elections."After three elections fought under the single transferable voting system there is clearly something wrong when one’s surname can prove such a decisive factor in whether one is elected," he added."If the issue is not addressed, the very credibility of the single transferable voting system is at stake."The First Minister told MSPs today that the Government has already agreed to look into the issue"Following the successful electronic count last week, randomised ordering of candidates surnames is one of the innovations that the Scottish Government will consider for future local government elections," she said."No decision have been taken but it is one of the changes that will be subject to consideration."Ms Sturgeon added: "It is important that no candidate in any election is at an unfair disadvantage, and that is why we have already said that we will examine the particular issue that Kenny Gibson has raised."

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