From the TUC

Boris’ strange strike ballot maths

06 Feb 2014, by in Working Life

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.

He says:

We need a ballot threshold – so that at least 50% of the relevant workforce has to take the trouble to vote, or else the ballot is void.

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.


One Response to Boris’ strange strike ballot maths

  1. Paul Evans
    Feb 7th 2014, 12:32 am

    19% of registered London voters voted for Boris Johnson in Mayoral Election 2012. Less than 17% gave him their first round votes.