"The key the to the development of instant runoff voting (IRV) was the invention of the single transferable vote (STV) in the 1850's by Thomas Hare in England and Carl Andrae in Denmark. The essence of STV is the concept that a citizen would have one vote in a particular contest, but that that vote might be transferred from one candidate to another according to each voter's ranking of candidates, depending on the aggregate result of other voters' ballots. Hare devised this balloting and counting procedure in creating a system of proportional representation.
IRV, however, is not a system of proportional representation. Instead, IRV uses the STV innovation in a winner-take-all context. Instant runoff voting, using a preference ballot, was invented by an American, W. R. Ware, a Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, around 1870. The first known use of IRV in a governmental election was in 1893 in Queensland, Australia. However, this was a modified version of IRV in which all candidates except the top two were eliminated in a batch rather than sequentially, as in the pure form of IRV. The 'staggered runoff' concept that we understand today as IRV was first used in Western Australia in 1908.
IRV, called 'alternative vote' in Australia, came to be used in most Australian legislative elections, although it was superseded by Hare's STV system of proportional representation for the federal Senate. IRV is still used for electing members of the lower house. IRV is also used in other nations, such as Ireland. In the United Kingdom, the Jenkins Commission, appointed by the new government, released their report October 29 that recommends the use of IRV for electing the House of Commons (with proportional representation achieved through the election of additional members based on the popular vote for parties nationally). ...
The single transferable vote is a more common voting procedure in the U.S. than most of us realize. Even the Academy Awards uses STV in determining their finalists. The American Political Science Association (APSA), the organization of political science professors, uses IRV to elect their national president, since political scientists understand that IRV is the fairest and simplest way to elect a single winner from a field of candidates."
(Center for Voting and Democracy, Washington, D.C.)
"On Friday 11th February 2011, the Coalition Government published the Protection of Freedoms Bill. ... Some of the measures came from the 14,000 ideas left on the Your Freedom website.
The Government is committed to continuing this public engagement with the content of the Protection of Freedoms Bill. This website gives you the opportunity to comment on each clause contained in the Bill. Your comments will get collated at the end of this public consultation and fed through directly to the Parliamentarians who will carry the Bill through the House of Commons (go to the Parliament website to learn about the passage of a bill). These comments will assist and challenge MPs, aiding their scrutiny and debate on the details of the Bill. This is a pilot for the 'public reading stage' that the Government wants to introduce to give the public an increased say in all bills"
(UK Cabinet Office, 2011)
"Mr. [Richard] Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what action will be taken, following the creative industries mapping exercise, to(a) protect intellectual property rights, (b) stimulate creativity and innovation amongst young people, (c) improve access to venture capital in new ways and (d) promote creative industry exports. 
Janet Anderson: The Government are committed to ensuring that British talent is able to reap the rewards of its creativity. We are negotiating in Europe on the draft782W Copyright Directive and with counterparts in other countries on frameworks for intellectual property management and ways of helping industry combat piracy."
(Hansard, vol 319 cc781-2W, 19 November 1998)