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Under an SV system (as used for the London and other Mayoral elections) a voter can vote for a desired representative of a smaller party as first preference and still cast a second vote for a larger party candidate who may be more likely to win. Voter choice can be considered to be limited under SV because the only way a vote can affect the final result is if the voter votes for the most likely candidates to go through to the second round. Because the system assumes that the contest is likely to be between two established parties, it does not reflect the environment for Mayoral elections where independents and other parties also achieve a broad level of support. If a voter wants to ensure their vote helps elect someone, they need to know and have a preference for at least one of the top two candidates.

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