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In a single transferable vote (STV) election each voter’s ballot is a rank ordering of the candidates. Each stage eliminates the remaining candidate with the fewest ballots listing her as the favourite, among those candidates that have not been eliminated, until one candidate remains. We study the quantitative manipulability of STV in comparison with plurality and other systems, and we study the relative importance of manipulation at the stages of three and four remaining candidates. We find that STV is less manipulable than the other systems. For STV the dominant mode of manipulation is at the round of three remaining candidates, with the manipulator pushing a weak candidate into the round of two, then benefitting when they lose.

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