What is the first past the post voting system used in UK elections?

by | Jun 25, 2024 | Politics

5 hours agoBy Chas Geiger, BBC Politics GettyWhen voters go to the polls on 4 July, the candidate who gets the most votes in each constituency becomes its MP.Under the first-past-the-post system used in UK general elections, the winner takes all, and parties who come second get nothing.Critics argue this means millions of votes are not reflected in the make-up of the House of Commons. Defenders of the system say it produces stable governments. What is first-past-the-post and how does it work?The UK is divided into 650 areas, called constituencies, and each of these elects a single MP to represent its residents at Westminster.Voters put a cross against the name of their preferred candidate on their ballot paper. The candidate with the most votes – or the “first past the post” – wins.They do not need to get the majority of the votes cast in that constituency, only more than any other candidate.There is no reward for the person who comes second, even if they lose by just one vote. In turn, the party with the most MPs wins the election. If that party has more MPs than all the other parties put together – called a Commons majority – it forms the government.The party leader automatically becomes prime minister.That is what happened at the last general election in 2019, when the Conservatives won 365 seats, giving the party a majority of 80, and Boris Johnson continued as PM.In 2010, unusually, no party won a majority, so the Conservatives – who had the most MPs after the election – invited the Liberal Democrats to share power in a coalition government.What is the case for first-past-the-post?The two largest parties – the Conservatives and Labour – both back first-past-the-post.They argue the system is simple and well-understood by voters, and that it maintains a clear link between constitue …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nn5 hours agoBy Chas Geiger, BBC Politics GettyWhen voters go to the polls on 4 July, the candidate who gets the most votes in each constituency becomes its MP.Under the first-past-the-post system used in UK general elections, the winner takes all, and parties who come second get nothing.Critics argue this means millions of votes are not reflected in the make-up of the House of Commons. Defenders of the system say it produces stable governments. What is first-past-the-post and how does it work?The UK is divided into 650 areas, called constituencies, and each of these elects a single MP to represent its residents at Westminster.Voters put a cross against the name of their preferred candidate on their ballot paper. The candidate with the most votes – or the “first past the post” – wins.They do not need to get the majority of the votes cast in that constituency, only more than any other candidate.There is no reward for the person who comes second, even if they lose by just one vote. In turn, the party with the most MPs wins the election. If that party has more MPs than all the other parties put together – called a Commons majority – it forms the government.The party leader automatically becomes prime minister.That is what happened at the last general election in 2019, when the Conservatives won 365 seats, giving the party a majority of 80, and Boris Johnson continued as PM.In 2010, unusually, no party won a majority, so the Conservatives – who had the most MPs after the election – invited the Liberal Democrats to share power in a coalition government.What is the case for first-past-the-post?The two largest parties – the Conservatives and Labour – both back first-past-the-post.They argue the system is simple and well-understood by voters, and that it maintains a clear link between constitue …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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