Boris Johnson. Photo: Christopher Furlong
Boris’ strange strike ballot maths
London Mayor Boris Johnson has repeated his call for tougher rules on strike ballots. But when you look at the detail the maths are bizarre.
Imagine a workforce of 1,000 balloting for strike action: 499 vote in favour with none against. On Boris rules, that is not a legal ballot for strike action as the turnout is less than 50%.
They decide to vote again. This time 251 vote for a strike and 250 vote against. Despite support for action dropping by almost half, it’s a valid ballot as the turnout is greater than 50%.
Boris has invented a system in which an abstention is a more effective vote against than a no vote. Go back to the example second ballot. If just three of the no votes abstained, the turnout would fall below 50% and that would make the ballot invalid.
I’ve nothing against Latin. But I do wish our politicians could do sums.