Voting Systems

Phoebe Fletcher
Mind Map by Phoebe Fletcher, updated 7 months ago


Different voting systems in the UK

Resource summary

Voting Systems
1 First Past the Post (FPTP)
1.1 Used in;
1.1.1 House of Commons
1.1.2 England and Wales local government
1.2 Constituences are roughly equal size
1.3 A constituency system, there is currently 650 Constituency's in the UK
1.4 Voters select a single candidate, reflecting a 'one person, one vote' system
1.5 The winning candidate only needs to achieve a plurality of votes
1.6 Disadvantages
1.6.1 Electoral Fairness
1.6.2 All votes count
1.6.3 Majority governement
1.6.4 Accountable government
1.6.5 Consensus political culture
1.7 Advantages
1.7.1 Clear electoral cjoice
1.7.2 Constituency represemtation
1.7.3 Mandate democracy
1.7.4 Strong government
1.7.5 Stable government
2 Additional Member System (AMS)
2.1 Used in;
2.1.1 Scottish Paraliment
2.1.2 Welsh Assembly
2.1.3 Greater London Assembly
2.2 Proportion of seats filled by FPTP, rest filled with 'closed' party list
2.3 Broadly proportional in terms of outcome
2.3.1 Allows to make a wider more considered choice
2.4 Advantages
2.4.1 Balances the need for constituency representation, against the need for fairness
2.4.2 It allows voters to make a wider and more considered choice
2.4.3 Keeps alive the possibility of a single-party government
2.5 Disadvantages
2.5.1 Creates confusion, of two different classes of representatives
2.5.2 Reduces likelihood of high levels of proportionality
2.5.3 Constituency representation will be less effective than FPTP
3 Alternative vote (AV)/ Supplementry Vote (SV)
3.1 Winning candidate must have a minimum of 50% of all the votes cast
3.2 With AV, electors vote preferentially, in SV electors vote for a first preference vote, and a second 'supplementary vote'
3.3 Votes are according to preference, if no candidate reaches 50% then the bottom candidates votes get redistributed (SV) or the bottom candidate gets dropped out until there is a 50% winning candidate
3.4 Advantages
3.4.1 SV/AV ensures that fewer votesare'wasted'
3.4.2 As a candidate must have 50%,parties will start to cover a broader range of views, instead of a fixed narrow view
3.5 Disadvantages
3.5.1 The outcome of a election, may be determined by the support of small, extremist (possibly) party support
3.5.2 Candidates may only win from redistribution, making them the least unpopular candidate, and not the most popular
4 Single Transferable Vote (STV)
4.1 Used in;
4.1.1 Northern Irish Assembly
4.1.2 Scottish and Irish local government
4.2 Quota system, uses (Total number of votes)/(Number of seats+1) +1
4.3 Parties are able to put up as many candidates as there are seats to fill
4.4 Electors vote preferentially by ranking candidates in order
4.5 Disadvantages
4.5.1 A strong and Stable single-party government is unlikely
4.5.2 Multimember constituencies may be divisive and so competition between party members will be encouraged
4.6 Advantages
4.6.1 Capable of achieving high proportional outcomes
4.6.2 The availability of several members in a constituency, mean that people have a choice on who to take their grievances to
5 Regional Party list
5.1 Used in the UK for European Parliament
5.2 There is a large number of multimember constituences
5.3 Disadvantages
5.3.1 Parties can become more powerful. as they decide where candidates are placed on the party list
5.3.2 Links between a representative and his/her constituency may be weaken/broken
5.3.3 Small parties may lead to a weak and unstable government
5.4 Parties must compile a list of candidates to place before the electors
5.4.1 This can be a closed list, where the electors choose a party, and candidates get put forward as they appear on the list
5.4.2 This can be a open list system, where the electors vote for a party, and then a candidate no matter where they are on the list
5.5 Advantages
5.5.1 This system is the only 'pure' proportional representation system
5.5.2 The system tends to promote unity
5.5.3 The system makes it easier for women, and minority candidates to be elected
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