The City of Edinburgh Council is urging all those eligible to use their vote in the Scottish Parliamentary Elections and Referendum on the UK Parliamentary voting system.

Polling cards have now been sent out to everyone who is registered to vote.  Before setting out voters should check the location of the polling place on the card as there have been some changes to the boundaries of the six Edinburgh constituencies. Some polling places have also changed this year as the previous ones are no longer available.

The six Edinburgh constituencies are Edinburgh Central, Edinburgh Eastern, Edinburgh Northern and Leith, Edinburgh Pentlands, Edinburgh Southern and Edinburgh Western.

There will be two ballot papers; a local Constituency paper and a Scottish Regional paper.

The local Constituency Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are elected using the “first past the post” voting system which means you vote for your preferred candidate using one ‘X’ on the ballot paper.  The candidate with the most votes is elected to serve as an MSP in your local Constituency area.

Regional Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) are elected using the “party list system” (a form of proportional representation) which means you vote for your preferred Party or individual candidate using one ‘X’ on the ballot paper. The Regional candidates are elected to serve as MSPs depending on the number of seats won by each political party and are allocated to candidates in the order in which their names appear on the list submitted by that party at nomination. Seven candidates will be elected to represent each region within Scotland.

UK Referendum

As well as the two ballot papers for the Scottish Parliament you will also receive a referendum ballot paper with this question:

“At present, the UK uses the ‘first past the post’ system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the ‘alternative vote’ system be used instead?”

You put a cross (X) in the ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ box. You must put a cross in ONLY ONE box or your vote will not be counted.

If more people vote ‘Yes’ than ‘No’ the ‘alternative vote’ system will be used for future elections to the House of Commons. If more people vote ‘No’ than ‘Yes’, the ‘first past the post’ system will continue to be used.

The AV system allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference.

And the Electoral Commission has a helpful video explaining what AV is