Most of the local elections in England and Wales on Thursday 1 May will be of the traditional “first past the post” variety. But the London elections will be more complex, involving three different voting systems to select the mayor, constituency candidates and the London assembly.
The London mayor ballot paper is pink with two columns of boxes. Everyone has two votes, a first preference vote to be marked by an X in the first column, and a second preference vote to be marked by an X in the second.
If no candidate receives more than 50 percent of the first preference votes all the candidates except the leading two will be eliminated and votes redistributed to their second preference.
Socialist Worker calls for a first preference vote for Lindsey German (Left List), number 5 on the ballot paper, and a second preference vote for Ken Livingstone (Labour) to help keep Tory candidate Boris Johnson out.
The yellow ballot is for the “constituency member” and works on a straightforward “first past the post” system.
The Left List is standing a candidate in every London assembly seat – you vote for the candidate by marking an X next to their name.
The peach ballot paper is for the “London-wide members” of the assembly that are allocated on a proportional basis.
Socialist Worker is calling for a vote for the Left List, headed by Lindsey German, number 8 on this ballot paper. If the Left List gains over 5 percent of the peach-coloured votes, Lindsey will win a place on the assembly.
Whoever you choose to vote for, it is very important to vote in this election. The fascist British National Party also only needs 5 percent to get a seat. The higher the turnout, the harder it is for the Nazis to reach this target.