Electoral Commission Queensland

Full Preferential Voting

In April 2016 the Queensland Parliament approved a bill to replace optional preferential voting in state elections with a full preferential voting system. Full preferential voting example

Full preferential voting (FPV) means numbering every box on the ballot paper in your preferred order. If every square is not numbered, your vote could be deemed informal and may not be counted.

To cast a formal vote:

  • place a one (1) in the box beside your first preference;
  • a two (2) in the box beside your second preference;
  • a three (3) in the box beside your third preference; and 
  • continue numbering until all of the boxes are numbered. 

Voting instructions are always on the ballot paper and should be read carefully.

Counting a Full Preference Vote

  • The first step is checking each vote is formal by ensuring all the boxes are properly numbered on the ballot paper. 
  • Polling officials then count first preferences by looking for the number one (1) next to a candidate’s name and allocating the vote to that person.
  • Next, the person with the lowest number of first preference votes is eliminated from the race and their second preferences are allocated to the remaining candidates. 
  • Now the next person with the lowest number of votes is eliminated and their preferences are distributed. 
  • This process of elimination continues until just two candidates remain and one has the majority of votes.
  • Once the result is clear, the Commission declares the successful candidate.