Category: Electoral Systems
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Legislative Council Electoral System

The NSW Upper House is comprised of 93 MLCs (Members of the Legislative Council) and operates under an proportional optional-preferential system, partly similar to that introduced in the Federal Senate in 2016. In this system the state is treated as a single electorate and seats are distributed according to the number of quotas a party gets. Quotas are typically 4.55% of the vote.

This system provides the option of allocating as many preferences desired but also allows an individual to simply vote 1 and let their vote exhaust. Voting below the line, on the other hand, requires a minimum of 15 votes to be considered formal. Unlike the Lower House, when a vote exhausts it doesn't affect the number of votes required for a quota, which remains at 4.55% (half that at double dissolution elections). As votes exhaust entire seats are just simply lost. Those left standing when there are no more votes to trade, the system adopts a First Past the Post approach and a simple tally of how many votes each person has is continued until all seats are filled.