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Counting the votes

On 6 May 2016, the day after polling day, the counting of votes cast in the elections of the Mayor of London and the London Assembly began.

This process took place in three count centres across London: Alexandra Palace, Excel, and Olympia. Votes were counted electronically.

The 14 Constituency London Assembly Members were announced by the relevant Constituency Returning Officers. This took place in the count centre.

The declaration of the 11 London-wide Assembly Members and the Mayor of London was made by the Greater London Returning Officer. This took place at City Hall once all of the votes were counted.

How your votes were counted: e-counting

Due to the scale and complexity of the elections in London – with three ballot papers and three different voting systems – counting of the votes was carried out electronically, known as e-counting. This process had a number of stages to ensure that all votes were counted.

Once all the votes in a contest were counted, the e-counting software calculated the results. These calculations were checked by the Constituency Returning Officer and the Greater London Returning Officer before being declared.

What were the different stages of the count?

Ballot papers were split into batches. They were then registered, scanned and verified.

Registered: where the number of ballot papers in each batch was counted and logged on the system

Scanned: the process of feeding the ballot papers from that batch through the scanning machine to read the votes

Verified: checking that the number of papers scanned matched the number of ballot papers registered in that batch

How the Mayoral results were calculated

The Mayor of London was elected by the supplementary vote system.

Each voter had a first and second choice vote. If a candidate received more than half of all the first choice votes they were elected immediately. If this does not happen, the two candidates with the most first choice votes would go through to a second round. All other candidates were eliminated.

The second choice votes of everyone whose first choice had been eliminated were then counted. Any votes for the remaining two candidates were added to their first round totals.

The candidate with the highest combined total of first and second choice votes was elected as Mayor of London.

How the Constituency London Assembly Member results were calculated

The 14 Constituency London Assembly Members were elected using the first past the post system. This means that the candidate in each constituency with the most votes was elected as a Constituency London Assembly Member.

How the London-wide Assembly Member results were calculated

The 11 London-wide Assembly Members were elected using a form of ‘proportional representation’. Votes from across London for the London-wide Assembly Members were added together. The 11 seats were then allocated based upon a mathematical formula – the Modified d’Hondt Formula. This took into account the total votes cast in the London-wide ballot together with the number of Constituency London Assembly Member seats that each political party had already won.

11 rounds of calculations took place to fill the 11 vacant Assembly Member seats, with the party or independent candidate with the highest result at each round allocated the seat. Seats won by parties were allocated to party candidates in the order they appeared on the relevant party’s list of candidates.

This voting system was used to ensure the overall Assembly reflects how all of London voted.

For more information about the different voting systems, download the factsheet below.

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