Representationin the UK andFPTPWhat we will cover;- Who represents us inParliament?- What is First Past thePost?
Who represents us? Single Additional Transferable Members Vote System Party List First Past the Post
First Past the Post Vote in constituencies Cross on ballot paper for candidate/party of your choice Candidate with more votes than anyone else wins All other candidates ‘lose’ There are 650 constituencies in the UK. East Lothian is 1 constituency . Fiona O’Donnell (Labour) is the MP for East Lothian.
East Lothian 2010 Write down 2 conclusions you can makeabout Labour winning the East Lothian seat.
National Result Party with the most seats forms the government. Leader of that party becomes Prime Minister. Party that comes 2nd becomes the opposition.
However in 2010….. No clear winner. Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition. Leads to difficult votes – Student Fees.
Strengths of FPTP FPTP is a simple system that people understand. This means more people will choose to vote, so the result is more democratic. 2010 Turnout 65% Everyone knows who their MP is. This makes the MP highly accountable to their constituents. MP Expenses FPTP usually produces a majority government. This means the government is stable will be able to make sure its manifesto promises are kept. Labour had a 64 majority 2001-5. Smaller parties are unlikely to get that much representation are have little effect on power in the Parliament. BNP
Limitations of FPTP More than half the people do not have to vote for the winning candidate in a constituency. This means most people do not feel well represented. E.g. Alan Reid in Argyll and Bute won with 31% of vote (2010). Two thirds of all MPs are elected with less than 50% of support from voters. Many feel that their votes are ‘wasted’ if they do not vote for the winning candidate. Governments are usually elected with less than half the vote e.g. in 2005 Labour won 35%. This means most people in Britain do not feel represented by the Government. Smaller parties find it hard to get support under this system. Labour or Conservatives will always be the parties in Government and Opposition. % of votes a party receives does not equal the % of seats – democratic? Lib Dems 23% of vote 8% of seats in 2010 Can produce ‘tactical voting’ – vote for a party only because they may have a chance of winning over another.