Electoral Systems

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First Past the Post (FPTP)

How it works:

  • a Pluritary system 
  • each voter recieves one vote
  • who ever wins the most votes wins ( doesn't matter about a majority) 
  • the number of votes won reflects the number of seats won ( won 55% of the votes = 55% of the seats 


  • Produces an outright majority (usually-2010 coalition) 
  • reflects the publics opinion 
  • provides constituencies 


  • Many seats are considered to be 'safe seats'- one party usually dominate the seat
  • 'safe seats' means the outcome is often inevitable, and there are many 'wasted votes' 
  • smaller parties are disadvantages, the two main parties always in power
  • The two main parties tend to exaggerate the vote, if they win 45%of the vote they often recieve a higher % of the seats 
  • Lib Dems disadvantaged, because in 2005 they recieved 22% of the vote and only recieved 9.4% of the seats

Where its is used: 

British General Elections 

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The National List

How it works:

  • Each party draws up a list, with their most favoured candidates at the top
  • the electorate then choose from the list of candidates, they vote for a party not an individual 
  • the proportion of votes = the proportion of candidates elected ( 30% of the total vote = 30% of the top of the list is elected 
  • No consituences
  • proportional system 


  • Produces an essembly reflecting party support exactly
  • there are no wasted votes 
  • allows to be socially representative and for every vote to count 


  • usually leads to a coalition, almost immposible to win an outright majority 
  • few small parties can win seats 
  • the electorate have no choice in which individuals/candidiates are choosen 
  • the electorate are left with no constituencies 

Where it is used: Israel 

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