Originally posted here, with 1 comment
I think this writer is right. Many London voters may have inverted their first and second preferences in a mistaken attempt to “tactically vote”, when in fact it is impossible to tactically vote that way in the London mayoral elections. (In the extremely unlikely worst case, you swing the election away from your real first preference; in the most likely case, the inversion has no effect at all.) Others, who voted for two no-hopers, may not have realised that they had to choose between Ken and Boris for their “second preference” if they wanted to have any effect. However, it is of course only the latter type of mistake that could have realistically influenced the outcome.
The London mayoral voting system is meant to be simple, but as software developers know, even the simplest of systems can have the potential to confuse users, and what an expert thinks is simple is not always the same as what a user finds most simple.
(Sunny Hundal’s error in the opposite direction, mentioned in the article, is arguably not an error at all, although it could be an error in the sense that he might get kicked out of the Labour party.)