Yesterday voters in the United Kingdom went to the polls to decide whether or not to change the voting system used to elect members of the House of Commons, the lower house of parliament. It was only the second time a national referendum has been held throughout the United Kingdom, and the first since the national referendum in 1975.
Voters were asked, "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?" Based on initial reports, the alternative vote electoral system will be soundly defeated, leaving the first-past-the-post system intact.
One of the most notable celebrity endorsements for the alternative vote system came from Colin Firth, who was recently honored for his role in The King's Speech.
The alternative vote electoral system is known more commonly as instant runoff voting (IRV) or ranked choice voting here in the U.S., and is used most notably in cities like San Francisco, Oakland, Minneapolis, several locations in North Carolina, and elsewhere.