Mixed Member Proportional (MMP) is a proportional electoral system that consists of both First Past The Post (FPTP) and Proportional Representation (PR).
In this system, District MLAs represent electoral districts similar to the current FPTP system. Multiple districts make up regions that are represented by several Regional MLAs. District MLAs are voted under FPTP while Regional MLAs are elected in accordance with the popular vote.
A ballot will either have one or two votes. In a two vote system, one vote will go towards a District MLA, while the second vote will go towards a party which will be used to determine Regional MLAs. In a single vote ballot system, the vote will go towards a candidate as well as that candidate’s party. This vote will go towards both District and Regional MLAs.
District MLAs are elected based on the current winner-takes-all system where the candidate with the most votes wins the seat for their district. Regional MLAs are elected based on the popular vote. This means that the regional candidates whose party received the most votes are elected to represent their region. Regional MLAs are essentially ‘topped-up’ to ensure proportional representation. If a party has no district seat, they must have 5% of the popular vote to get a top-up regional top up seat.
If MMP is chosen as the prefered voting system in the referendum, there will be fewer, larger electoral districts to accommodate for Regional MLAs. An independent electoral boundaries commision will determine where these new districts will be, and which ones will make up larger regions. A similar committee will determine whether a one vote system or a two vote system will be implemented. The Legislative Assembly will either stay the same size or increase by only a few seats to accommodate for the new electoral system.
MMP is currently used in many countries including Germany, New Zealand, Scotland and Wales.