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Widely varying electoral laws have been tried in Australia and elesewhere

In 2007 Bennett and Lundie noted in Australian electoral systems, the first parliamentary election in Australia was held in 1843 for the New South Wales Legislative Council using first past the post voting. This was the system used for most colonial elections in Australia.

Federal elections in Australia use full preferential voting (for the House of Representatives) and proportional representation (used for Senate elections). At the state level other systems in use include optional preferential voting systems, as well as the Hare-Clark system.

Bennett and Lundie noted that despite reviews held after each Commonwealth election, there is little call for major change. They concluded that Australia has found arrangements that suit the needs of its people, parties and its parliamentarians.

Other voting systems used in Australia over time include the following:

  • plurality systems – first past the post, block vote, cumulative vote
  • majority systems – contingent vote, second ballot, preferential voting (multi-member electorates - used for Senate elections between 1919 and 1946)
  • proportional systems – proportional representation (single transferable vote - Hare quota), proportional representation (party list), proportional representation (list modified d’Hondt)

Other voting systems globally are documented by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance and include the following - (Australian electoral law is classed as Alternative Vote (AV):

First Past The Post (FPTP) 

Block Vote (BV) 

Party Block Vote (PBV) 

Alternative Vote (AV) 

Two-Round System (TRS) 

List Proportional Representation (List PR) 

Single Transferable Vote (STV) 

Mixed Member Proportional System (MMP) 

Parallel Systems 

Single Non-Transferable Vote (SNTV) 

Limited Vote (LV) 

Borda Count (BC) 

N No provisions for direct elections.