Advantage and Disadvantages of FPTP voting

Topics: Elections, Voting system, Election Pages: 2 (572 words) Published: November 23, 2013
Politics Essay: Explain Arguments For and Against the FPTP voting system
The ‘First Past the Post’ voting system which is adopted in the UK is a way of voting which includes candidates running for the representation of their constituency (small electoral area). To win the candidate must acquire a higher number of votes than his competitor who would also be running for the position. The winner, candidate with the most votes, then represents his constituency in the House of Commons and acts as a Member of Parliament while also being a part of a party e.g. Labour or Conservative. This method of voting and elections can lead itself to some unfairness for instance the discrimination against third parties to gain seats and power while it also has some advantages In the form of giving rise to single party governments which overall run more smoothly.

This method of voting tends to inaccurately reflect the number of votes won by the number of seats gained for a party. For example in 2012 the Liberal Democrats won 23% of the votes nationally yet only gained 9% of the seats available in parliament. This shows discrimination of third parties due to the fact that a party must have their supporters within a close vicinity or few constituencies in order to gain seats. This is almost never the case as supporters are often spread out unless the parties’ supporters are a large sector of society like the working class or the middle class predominantly represented by Labour and Conservatives.

The ‘First Past the Post’ system does aid the government by stemming the growth of extremist parties in to power as these parties often don’t have voters concentrated in to one area. Another plus to this method of voting is that the transition from one government to another is very smooth and simple as votes can be easily calculated so the decision to change power is made quickly.

In many eyes of the voters this system is frowned upon because it lures in tactical voters who vote for...
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