Condorcet voting is a method that can capture more nuanced voter preferences compared to simpler methods like Plurality Voting, where candidates can win without a majority of support. It is commonly used for single-winner elections with one vacancy to fill.
The method is designed to determine the candidate that would win in a one-on-one competition against all other candidates. The goal of the Condorcet system is to ensure that the winner has the broadest possible support among the electorate, through the evaluation of the pairwise comparison and identification of those candidates that are preferred by a majority of voters.
Using Condorcet, voters rank candidates in order of preference. Each candidate is then compared against every other candidate in a series of head-to-head matchups. For each matchup, the candidate preferred by a majority of voters is considered the winner of that matchup. If a candidate is preferred over all other candidates in all possible matchups, they are determined as the winner as they would theoretically win in a direct election against any other candidate.
How to Set Up
On the Ballot Page, select “Preferential” from the voting systems drop-down menu. Doing so will populate a new drop-down method where you choose between the two methods of calculating Results: IRV or STV or Condorcet. Select "Condorcet".
Complete the setup as normal, leading to a ballot looking similar to the below.
Determining The Winner Using Condorcet
In a Condorcet vote, a candidate wins if they have the most pairwise victories against all other candidates. To illustrate, let's use an example with three candidates: A, B, and C. The pairwise contests between these candidates might look like this:
A defeats B and C
B defeats C
In this example, A has won two pairwise contests, B has won one, and C has not won any. A would be declared the winner.
In the Condorcet election system, the winning candidate must achieve an absolute majority of the total number of formal votes. This means that the winner of each contest must get more than 50 percent of the total formal votes. The votes are allocated to each candidate based on how the voters have ranked them.
For additional details, please see our blog post on the Condorcet Voting Systems.
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