9 friends are off to the cinema. (Adam, Brian, Colin, David, Ethel, Freda, Geraldine, Hilda, Isobel) and they can’t decide which of the 4 movies to see. They have a choice of Horror, Comedy, a 3d Cartoon or Romance.

Adam, Brian, Isobel and Colin all want to see the horror, David and Ethel want to see the comedy, Freda, and Geraldine want to see the Romance, Hilda wants to see the cartoon. They all want to go and see a movie together though (even though it’s a multiplex). Adam, Brian, Isobel and Colin say that their votes are the most so everyone should see the horror. But the others argue that that would mean that 5 of them would watch a movie they don’t want to see! It’s obvious that Hilda is on her own, so they ask her what would her 2nd choice movie be. Hilda picks the comedy. The others are annoyed now – there is still a split, although romance is now the clear runner up. So they ask Freda and Geraldine too for a 2nd choice. Freda picks comedy too, and Geraldine ums and ahs but finally plumps for the horror.

There are now over 50% of the friends wanting to see the horror. They go and see it. Geraldine and Freda agree it was rubbish, next time Geraldine will vote for comedy. If things are the same next time, her vote will swing it for the comedy.

We use the alternative vote all the time, we usually don’t even notice.

They argued about the popcorn too – but luckily there was only a choice of salty or sweet, and in a choice of two, the majority vote works fine, and even though Adam didn’t want popcorn, it turned out that most people wanted sweet……