Unit 1 Electoral & Voting systems

Electoral & Voting systems

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Additional Member System

Additional Member System (AMS) a mix of FPTP & List.

Used in Scotland & Wales.


  • More proportional than FPTP
  • Less wasted votes
  • Maintains MP & constituency link
  • More 'real' choice (split ticket voting)
  • Keeps extreamist support low
  • Allows 3rd parties in
  • Removes winners Bonus


  • Complicated, public need educating
  • Encourrages tactical voting
  • More split ballots
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First Past the Post

Plurality system - most number of votes wins.

'X'  in a box for your chosen constituency MP

Party want to get a majority of seats

May 2005 General Election Labour won 413 seats.


  • Most likely outcome is a strong single party goverment
  • Quick cheap & simple, get results the same day
  • Encoureges participation


  • Wasted votes, many people go unrepresented
  • Winners bonus
  • Not proportional outcome
  • Two party system
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Supplementary Vote

(SV) All 1st preferable Votes Counted, if no one gets a majority everyone gets knocked out except the top 2

peoples second choice is the redistibuted to the top remaining 2 candidates

2008 Boris Johnson wins with 53% of votes, 28% of votes were redistributed.


  • Clear winner
  • Reduces Wasted Votes
  • Stops extreamist parties
  • Requires winner to have broad support


  • Encourges tactical voting
  • Encourages two party system
  • Still some wasted votes
  • Winner not necessarily the favourite, just least bad
  • Winner may not win first round
  • More complicated
  • Increase voter apathy
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Altenative Vote

Ordinal voting, place number in box next to party of choice. party in last place will have votes redisributed, this will happen until a party gets +50% of votes.

No Examples - 2010 coalition held referendum, the outcome is that it wasn't wanted.


  • Clear winner
  • Reduces wasted votes
  • Stops extreamist parties
  • Requires winner to have broad support
  • Maintains link for MP & constituency


  • Tactical voting
  • Encourages a two party system
  • Still wasted votes
  • Wnner not necessarily the favourite, just least bad
  • Winner may be not win 1st round
  • more complicated, people will need educating
  • Increase voter apathy
  • Very expensive & takes alot of time
  • Spoiled ballots
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Each party before an election forms a list of candidates in order of importance.

public have one vote for a party, whatever the percentage gained is the percentage put in government.

There are variants of List Regional or National & Open or Closed

Regional & Closed is always used for EU Elections


  • guarentees party proportionality
  • More opportunity for minoritys Women Etc.  tend to involve large multi-member constituencies
  • Open lists offer more choice control over who gets into power


  • Long, complicated & expensive
  • As candidates are selected by the party leaders, they are likely to put 'safe' candidates near the top of the list, at the expense of traditionally under-represented groups.
  • Closed party lists offer very little in the way of voter choice: all the power, save that of choosing a party for government, resides with the party leaders.
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