Electoral Systems

Proportional representation and 'first past the post'

  • Created on: 23-06-10 18:08

Proportional Representation and First Past the Pos

Proportional Representation: The number of seats in Parliament is divided up by the proportion of votes in the country as a whole for each party.

First Past the Post: The country is divided into constituencies that mirrors the number of seats in Parliament. The candidate with the most votes in each becomes the MP for that constituency.

1 of 3

Advantages of First Past the Post

Advantages of First Past the Post:

  • Simple to understand
  • People know they have one MP for their constituency who they've chosen to represent them
  • It's fair that the person with the most votes wins, and that the party with the majority of seats wins
  • MP represents all constituents, not just those voting for them
  • Supports a two-party system
  • Prevents extreme parties from getting MPs in Parliament
  • British democracy has stood the test of time - why change it?
2 of 3

Disadvantages of First Past the Post

Disadvantages of First Past the Post:

  • All the people who didn't vote for the winning candidate feel their vote was wasted.
  • People are discouraged from voting because their vote didn't count
  • In 1997, almost half of the votes cast were lost
  • There is often little difference between 2 big parties, so alternative views are not heard
  • Proportional representation is fairer as more MPs from minority parties can get into Parliament
3 of 3


Gabby Tracey


sorry, not vey much information. :)

Similar Citizenship Studies resources:

See all Citizenship Studies resources »