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First Past The Post Essay Essay

FPTP is the only electoral system which the UK should use for general elections. Discuss. First Past the Post is the current voting system used in the UK for general elections whereby the nation elects MP’s into the House of Commons. This particular voting system is based on each area of the constituency being represented by the elected MP. The candidate with the most votes in each constituency becomes its MP. I feel that depends on your own view of democracy, but I think that the main reason many people feel that the FPTP electoral is unfair is because of the fact that the candidate/MP can be elected as representative of the constituency by a minority vote. I feel that this obviously doesn’t truly reflect who the populous wants to represent the constituency. In Addition, a large number of votes cast are also wasted because the voter simply did not vote for the candidate who won the election as the winning candidate may have won by a minority vote.

Once again, this is clear example that the FPTP electoral system is ineffective in terms of giving voters what they actually want. However, I do understand that the FPTP electoral system is favoured by some for being simple to use and understand. For a vote to be valid, all that is required from the voter is an ‘X’ beside the name the single member of the one candidate they wish to be elected. Under PR electoral systems, voters may have to choose between a number of candidates presented by a party whereas the simplicity of FPTP allows voters to assess the performance of an individual candidate. In FPTP, one party may win all the seats in a constituency. If the support for a party is strong in a certain part of the country, a vast amount of votes will win most if not all the seats in the legislature for that area.

This then excludes a minority in that area from representation and reinforces the perception that politics favours the status quo and has disregard for any belief of someone outside that. Subsequently, The FPTP system electoral is dependent on the drawing of ‘electoral boundaries’. This means that there isn’t really any way to produce a correct answer in regards to what the nation as a whole really wants in if the electoral system boats simplicity. FPTP post also encourages gerrymandering, a process used to achieve the electoral results wanted by a particular party. Furthermore, another ineffective consequence of FPTP is the effect it may have in marginal constituencies.

This is when the voter has no firm loyalty to a given party and tends to change their vote from election to election. This situation can have an impact on the results of the election even if the constituency may only provide a very small proportion of the electorate. In conclusion, I do not feel that FPTP is good for the democracy of the United Kingdom and should not be used for general elections as it is quite simply unfair to voters. FPTP does not allow voters to pick candidates, and so, forcing to voter to vote for someone they do not like because they are loyal to a particular party. How can a party gaining more power than their vote share suggest they should be fair? This is deception.

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