Preferential voting requires a voter to rank candidates on the ballot paper in the order of the voter's choice. A voter's most preferred candidate is the one against whose name the voter has written '1' on the ballot paper. This candidate represents the voter's first preference vote. This definition also applies to voting under systems of proportional representation. Where a first past the post (plurality) electoral system is used, the first preference vote refers to the number of ticks or crosses gained by each candidate.
In this database, the total of the first preference votes for all the candidates of a party at a general election is that party's first preference vote. This database presents voting results in terms of the first preference vote for listed parties; see also two party preferred vote.