Campaigning for your next-preference support?

Another significant consequence of preferential voting (Condorcet methods, particularly, IRV less so) is that second- and subsequent-preferences are important.

This fundamentally changes the game. Parties and candidates will of course continue to court voters for their first-preference votes, but if they can’t get those it’s still worthwhile, even essential, to court their next- and subsequent-preference support.

This means that candidates and parties must be willing and able to build support beyond their own core base; they need to appeal to, and be responsive and accountable to a broader electorate. This also encourages cleaner, more positive campaigns.

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