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Electoral Law Act (Northern Ireland) 1962

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Exclusion of candidatesN.I.

51(1)If—

(a)all transferable papers which under the provisions of rule 49 (including that rule as applied by paragraph (11)) and this rule are required to be transferred, have been transferred, and

(b)subject to rule 52 one or more vacancies remain to be filled,

the returning officer shall exclude from the election at that stage the candidate with the then lowest vote (or, where paragraph (12) applies, the candidates with the then lowest votes).

(2)The returning officer shall sort all the ballot papers on which first preference votes are given for the candidate or candidates excluded under paragraph (1) into two sub-parcels so that they are grouped as—

(a)ballot papers on which a next available preference is given, and

(b)ballot papers on which no such preference is given (thereby including ballot papers on which preferences are given only for candidates who are deemed to be elected or are excluded).

(3)The returning officer shall, in accordance with this rule and rule 50, transfer each sub-parcel of ballot papers referred to in sub-paragraph (a) of paragraph (2) to the candidate for whom the next available preference is given on those papers.

(4)The exclusion of a candidate, or of two or more candidates together, constitutes a further stage of the count.

(5)If, subject to rule 52, one or more vacancies still remain to be filled, the returning officer shall then sort the transferable papers, if any, which had been transferred to any candidate excluded under paragraph (1) into sub-parcels according to their transfer value.

(6)The returning officer shall transfer those papers in the sub-parcel of transferable papers with the highest transfer value to the continuing candidates in accordance with the next available preferences given on those papers (thereby passing over candidates who are deemed to be elected or are excluded).

(7)The vote on each transferable paper transferred under paragraph (6) shall be at the value at which that vote was received by the candidate excluded under paragraph (1).

(8)Any papers on which no next available preferences have been expressed shall be set aside as non-transferable votes.

(9)After the returning officer has completed the transfer of the ballot papers in the sub-parcel of ballot papers with the highest transfer value he shall proceed to transfer in the same way the sub-parcel of ballot papers with the next highest value and so on until he has dealt with each sub-parcel of a candidate excluded under paragraph (1).

(10)The returning officer shall after each stage of the count completed under this rule—

(a)record—

(i)the total value of votes, or

(ii)the total transfer value of votes

transferred to each candidate;

(b)add that total to the previous total of votes recorded for each candidate and record the new total;

(c)record the value of non-transferable votes and add that value to the previous non-transferable votes total, and

(d)compare—

(i)the total number of votes then recorded for each candidate together with the total number of non-transferable votes, with

(ii)the recorded total of valid first preference votes.

(11)If after a transfer of votes under any provision of this rule, a candidate has a surplus, that surplus shall be dealt with in accordance with paragraphs (5) to (10) of rule 49 and rule 50.

(12)Where the total of the votes of the two or more lowest candidates, together with any surpluses not transferred, is less than the number of votes credited to the next lowest candidate, the returning officer shall in one operation exclude such two or more candidates.

(13)If where a candidate has to be excluded under this rule, two or more candidates each have the same number of votes and are lowest—

(a)regard shall be had to the total number of votes credited to those candidates at the earliest stage of the count at which they had an unequal number of votes and the candidate with the lowest number of votes at that stage shall be excluded; and

(b)where the number of votes credited to those candidates was equal at all stages, the returning officer shall decide between the candidates by lot and the candidate on whom the lot falls shall be excluded.

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