Indirect single transferable voting[1] or Gove system[2][3] is a version of single transferable vote (STV), where the vote transfer is determined by the candidate's instructions and not the individual voters choices. This system allows to achieve many of the benefits of STV without the complexity of implementing a ranked voting system.[4]

Indirect STV was invented by Walter Baily, of Leeds, and put forward in his 1872 book PR in Large Constituencies.[5] Massachusetts legislator William H. Gove of Salem and Archibald E. Dobbs of Ireland, author of Representative Reform for Ireland (1879), both were early and strong supporters.[6][2][7][8]

Indirect single transferable voting is distinct from an indirect election by the single transferable vote, which means an election by a legislative body or electoral college (instead of the enfranchised population) using the standard (direct) single transferable vote system. Indirect election using STV is used among others in some states of India and for election of some positions within the national assembly.[citation needed]


The indirect single transferable voting is used to elect some members of the Senate of Pakistan. (Election of many Senate members is done by elected provincial members, using STV of the usual form.)[9][1]


  1. ^ a b Waqar, M. (2020). Gender Quotas and Political Dynasties: Explaining Women's Substantive Representation in Pakistan's National Assembly (Doctoral dissertation, Indiana University).
  2. ^ a b The Proportional Representation Congress Stoughton Cooley The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science Vol. 4 (Nov., 1893), pp. 112-117 (6 pages)
  3. ^ My big, bold ranked-choice voting proposal
  4. ^ Indirect STV Election: A Voting System for South Africa
  5. ^ Baily's book online:
  6. ^ Hoag, Effective Voting (1914)
  7. ^ Gove, William H. 1894. “The Relation of the Gove System to Other Methods of Proportional Representation.” Proportional Representation Review 2, no. 6 (December 1894): 41–7.
  8. ^ In America, why does proportional voting have to attack political parties? Jack Santucci, April 5, 2018
  9. ^ Senate Elections 2018, How to Vote under the System of Proportional Representation by Means of a Single Transferable Vote (Election Commission of Pakistan, Islamabad) (