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How do the different UK electoral systems effect the representation of the political parties?

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Introduction

How do the different UK electoral systems effect the representation of the political parties? One of the most common electoral systems in the UK is the First Past The Post system which is used to elect MPs to the House of Commons. The effects of the FPTP are numerous; it leads no clear correlation between number of votes cast and seats won. This means that parties that have strong support in a few concentrated areas can win more seats than parties with scattered support throughout the country, despite the latter gaining g more votes. An example seen is in the 1974 election when conservatives won 200,000 more vote than Labour but won four fewer seats, as Labour had more concentrated support in certain regions. ...read more.

Middle

This means that minority votes are never heard, and parties like Greenpeace can find it very difficult to get a seat in parliament. However on the other hand the FTPT also creates single party government, usually with a majority in the House of Commons which enables them to rule decisively and efficiently especially in times of crisis. Another system is the party lists which is used for election in the EU. It favours a proportionally between the votes cast and seats, e.g. if the party gets 32% of the vote they get 32% of seats. This helps smaller parties like the Liberals and Green party to gain seats easily in Brussels. ...read more.

Conclusion

With only FPTP, it would have had an absolute majority, but did not gain many votes in the topup. Hence it meant rather than governing as a minority administration it had to govern in coalition with the Liberal Democrats. The conservatives also had a large showing they otherwise would not have had, due to a large number of votes gained in the top up. In the 2007 elections, due to a large number of top up vote she SNP beat Labour and was able to govern as a minority government. In Wales, the topup votes did not make a difference. Labour governed as a minority government after both the 1999 and 2003 election which would have remained unchanged even without topup votes.Howvevr the Conservatives and Plaid Cymru managed to make a better showing with topup votes. ...read more.

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