Politics- Unit 2

HideShow resource information

Electoral systems

Plurality- First Past the Post

Majoritarian- Alternative Vote, Second Ballot, Supplementary vote

Proportional- Single Transferrable Vote, Closed List

Hybrid- Additional Member

First Past the Post (FPTP)

- Currently used for General and local elections in the UK

- The candidate with the most votes wins a seat, and the party wins a seat in the HoC

- Must get more votes than any other candidate in the constituency. A plurality (although not necessarily a majority)


- System is part of tradition

- System is cheap and easy to operate

- System is familiar and easily understood

- Single member constituency allows for MP-Constituency link

- Usually prduces a strong, majority government- E.g Tony Blair's government 1997-2005


- Distorts popular vote to an unacceptable degree- note Lib Dem vote

- Wasted votes- less value in votes e.g. Green party, in comparison to STV

- Small parties are disadvantaged

- Provides little choice for voters- 'Two and half party system'- creates tactical voting

- Artificially polarised adversarial politics- coalition can be more constructive

- Perpetuates geographical strongholds- e.g. Witney

Alternative Vote (AV)

- proposed for consideration in May Referendum 2011 - Coalition compromise + free vote

- preference system

- Candidate must get more than 50% of the votes, if not, bottom candidate is eliminated and their voter's second preferences are redistributed until a candidate has an overall majority


- MPs are elected by majorities in constituencies

- This ensures there is always a link between constituency and MP


- Seen as less proportional than FPTP

- Swings in public opinion tend to exaggerate results

Supplementary Vote (SV)

- Choice of two preferences only

- Used in London Mayoral elections

- If they do not obtain 50.1% or more from first preferences, the bottom candidates are eliminated and their second preferences are redistributed if voted for remaining two candidates.



No comments have yet been made

Similar Government & Politics resources:

See all Government & Politics resources »See all UK pressure groups and protest movements resources »