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Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the First Past the Post Electoral system

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Introduction

´╗┐Assess the advantages and disadvantages of the First Past the Post Electoral system The FPTP voting system is the current electoral system used in the UK. The Country is divided into 650 constituencies and each constituency has their own individual MP that represents the people of the constituency. Each MP is voted in by the FPTP system. When election time arrives, each legible voter puts a cross next to the candidate of their choice; the candidate with the most votes in the constituency becomes the MP for that area. Then, the party with the highest number of winning MPs forms the government. The First Past the Post system is also very easy to understand. ...read more.

Middle

Lastly, the First Past the Post system promotes strong, majority governments; this means there is less friction between governments as it is generally one party that has the power rather than a coalition. This is achieved because parties such as Labour and Conservative do well as they gain the majority of seats due to the idea of concentration in certain areas. However, this is also said to be unfair as parties such as Liberal Democrats are not equally weighted to Labour and Conservative, as their votes are thinly spread leading to less votes than the concentrated seats gained from Labour and Conservative. For example, in 2005, the average vote for Labour was 42,000 votes, Conservative was 44,000 and for Liberal Democrats, a huge figure of 97,000! ...read more.

Conclusion

The last negative point is that unfortunately, the system also means aswell as winning by just one vote, that a party can also lose by as little as one vote. This follows a ?winner takes all? idea, which is very unfair for the losing party if this situation occurred. In my opinion, although the FPTP system definitely has its advantages, I believe it is strongly outweighed by the large number of disadvantages. Although the recent referendum of 2005 suggested people are not interested in changing the electoral system, I believe this is because of a lack of knowledge to how unfair the FPTP system is. I believe if people supporting parties such as Liberal Democrats realized how many more MPs could be achieved for them by using an alternative voting system, I think they would definitely chose to change this plurality system. ...read more.

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