I heard David Blunkett on The World at One complaining that the problem with the single transferable vote system (STV) was that those who voted for the least popular candidates got more votes than others.
If you are not familiar with STV, you vote by expressing a preference - placing the candidates in order - for as long as you have a preference. So take this election result:
Under first past the post (FPTP) Tilley would have been elected. Under STV the winner needs more than 50% of the vote so the target is 36 votes.
So Blunkett is eliminated (loving that sentence). The votes for the eliminated candidate are reallocated to their second choice. Both Blunkett voters voted for Johnson as their second choice so the result is now:
Now Smith is eliminated and the second choices of the Smith voters re-allocated. We get:
Finally Jones is eliminated and second choices allocated giving a final score:
Johnson is duly elected. If any of the transferred votes go to candidates who are later eliminated then third choices come into play.
What the real Blunkett fails to realise is that not only the eliminated candidates' voters get a second or third vote. Everyone does. It is simply that the second and third votes can continue to be for the first choice candidate.
It is a shame that Blunkett is championing a retention of the so obviously unfair FPTP system whilst demonstrating a failure to understand STV.