“First Past the Post Has Been Highly Criticized and the Liberal Democrats Particularly Suffered from the Affects. Alternative Systems Exist and the Coalition Elected in May 2010 May Well Change Our Traditional Electoral

Topics: Elections, Plurality voting system, Voting system Pages: 3 (1039 words) Published: February 14, 2013
“First past the post has been highly criticized and the Liberal Democrats particularly suffered from the affects. Alternative systems exist and the coalition elected in May 2010 may well change our traditional electoral system. The compromises that had to be made makes this question even more interesting” –Discuss First past the post (FPTP), often referred to as winner-takes-all, is the voting system in Britain which works on a one vote per person basis. FPTP allows each party to nominate one candidate for each constituency and then each area is able to vote to pick their MP for their area. This creates a strong, unique relationship between the MP and their constituency. FPTP refers to an election won by the person with the most votes yet this does not mean they have to win an overall majority because of this it FPTP can be seen to discriminate in favour of some pasties and against others. This is due to the amount of voters in a certain constituency. If there is a large amount of people in one area, say 100,000, the candidates will have to gain more votes to win them a seat yet in an area with only 50,000 people the candidates can gain less votes than the other to gain a seat in parliament. This is why some parties can gain more seats than other parties even if they have fewer votes. In 2010 for Conservatives the average amount of votes needed for a seat was 34,979 for Labour it was 33,370 and for the Liberal Democrats on average on seat was worth 119,944 votes. This means that a vote for the Conservative or Labour party is worth more than a vote for The Liberal Democrats meaning that the votes are not of equal value. There are many alternative systems available which allows smaller parties to be represented. The Alternative Vote (AV) is an example of this, used in the Australian House of Representatives. It allows the voter to number the candidates in order of preference. The votes are tallied up and if a voters first choice is shown to have no chance of...
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