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A referendum is a vote made by the public on a particular issue and referendums allow voters to register their opinions on a specific question regarding policy issues, with a simple yes or no answer.

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Introduction

Edexcel Politics mock unit 1 corrections Question 1(a) A referendum is a vote made by the public on a particular issue and referendums allow voters to register their opinions on a specific question regarding policy issues, with a simple yes or no answer. Referendums are a form of direct democracy in the context of representative democracy, where citizens are directly involved in decision making. Referendums tend to be based on a question drawn up by the government and put to the electorate. An example of a referendum that had occurred in the recent past was the devolution of Scotland referendum in 1997. Question 1(b) A referendum is a vote made by the public on a particular issue and referendums allow voters to register their opinions on a specific question regarding policy issues, with a simple yes or no answer. The circumstances that governments have called referendums are as follows. Referendums may be used for many reasons, to allow the public to vote on issues such as constitutional change, where the public who withhold sovereignty, get a chance to vote on any issues associated with constitutional change. For instance many referendums have been regarding constitional reform such as the devolution of Scotland in 1997. ...read more.

Middle

To become an MP, the candidate must obtain more votes than any other candidate but not necessarily a majority ie - the MP does not need more than 50% of the vote. The party with the largest number of MPs goes to form the government. The supplementary vote system is a majority system with a one member constituency and this system is used to elect the London Mayor. The way in which it works is as follows. Voters have two preference votes in that they cross their first and second choices on the ballot paper. If a candidate receives more than 50% of first preferences then they are elected. If no candidate gets over 50% then the top two remain in competition and the second preference votes for these two from the eliminated candidates are re-distributed until a winner emerges. The single transferable system is a proportional system and it gives rise to multi-member constituencies. This system is adopted in Northern Ireland. The manner in which it works is that parties have as many candidate as they like and voters are allowed to rank the candidates in order of preference, seats are allocated on the basis of a "quota system". ...read more.

Conclusion

Labour received 63.6% of MPs in the House of Commons and this decreased by 0.9% to 62.7% in 2001. The Conservatives received 25% of MPs in the House of Commons and this increased by 0.2% to 25.2% in 2001. The Liberal Democrats received 6.9% of MPs in the House of Commons and this increased by 1% to 7.9% in 2001. These figures show that there is over representation of the Labour party and under representation of the other parties such as the Conservatives. Question 1(c) The factors that might explain the fall in turnout in the 2001 elections are as follows. In the 1997 elections previous to the 2001 elections tactical voting occurred to outride the Conservative Party to ensure that they would not win. The Labour and Lib Dem supporters were fed up with the Conservative party being in power. So within different regions of the country, there are higher public support for all three parties. The Labour party generally gains support in the North where as the Conservatives do so in the South. The Lib Dems have evenly distributed support. Hence in regions where Labour support was low, the Lib Dem voters alongside the Labour ones voted for Labour to out win the Conservative party. And where there was a slightly higher vo ...read more.

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