Definition of instant runoff voting in US English:

instant runoff voting

(also IRV)


  • An electoral system whereby voters rank candidates in order of preference. In the event that one candidate fails to achieve a sufficient majority, the candidate with the fewest number of first-preference rankings is eliminated and these votes redistributed, the process being repeated until one candidate achieves the required majority.

    • ‘In March, San Francisco voted to become the first American city to implement instant runoff voting for its major local elections.’
    • ‘He said his party is interested in electoral change that empowers voters, such as instant runoff voting, which would allow voters to rank their top choices for a political office.’
    • ‘Australia and Ireland also use instant runoff voting, which eliminates primaries by allowing voters to mark a second and third place choice.’
    • ‘Instant runoff voting, which compresses runoffs into general elections by having voters rank candidates in order of preference, is one solution.’
    • ‘We should push states to require majority winners through instant runoff voting.’