Advantages and Disadvantages of electoral systems FPTP


Advantages and Disadvantages of FPTP


  • Easy to understand - doesn't confuse voters = less spoiled ballots
  • usually creates a strong, stable, majority government
  • excludes extremist parties from representation in the legislature
  • link between constituents and their representatives - MP's have unique concerns for their local constituents
  • clear election outcome - one party usually wins minority of seats and forms a government
  • legitimacy - person with the most votes wins
  • accountability - clear MP is responsible for their constituency


  • most members of parliament are elected with less than 50% of the total votes cast in their constituencies
  • 2005 general election - Labour won with a 32.5% vote - the lowest of any majority government
  • works to the advantage of political parties who's support is concentrated in certain areas which favours the two main parties
  • safe seats - leads to people feeling their votes no longer count = voter apathy and lower turnout
  • leads to tactical voting which doesn't represent the electorates true political views
  • disproportionate - causes us to question if the uk is democratic if only a small percentage of voters are being represented in government
  • 2010 coalition and 2017 hung parliament is proof FPTP doesn't always lead to strong majority governments
  • party can form a government with less than 50% of the vote, tories won 2017 general election with 42%
  • leads to adversarial politics - winning party + opposition criticise each other instead of working together


FPTP is an outdated undemocratic system which leaves voters feeling as thought there vote doesn't count and so could lead to a participation crisis within the uk. With citizens looking elsewhere than to the two party system it may be time to introduce a new electoral system. However the benefits of FPTP must be taken into account as it is a simple system which Is easy for voters to understand.


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