1.1.1 which provide members of Parliament for all geographical
locations in the UK. They also serve to determine the government
of the UK and are seen as the most important elections in the UK
1.2.1 serve to provide representatives
when a vacancy arises
1.3 Local elections
1.3.1 provide representation at a lower level and elect councillors
who administer certain services in the locality Elections to the
devolved assemblies provide representatives for regional
government in Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland.
1.4.1 Elections take place for regionally
elected mayors which include London.
1.5 secure representatives
for the EU
1.5.1 Elections take place to secure representatives
for the EU. These are fixed term.
2 To what extent are UK
2.1.1 Unelected House of
Lords and Monarchy
2.1.3 FPTP voting system
2.1.4 ‘Consensus politics’
2.2.1 Free and fair
126.96.36.199 Secret Ballot
188.8.131.52 One person one vote
2.2.2 Universal adult suffrage
2.2.3 Free electoral choice and
competition between parties
3 What are the functions of elections
and how effective are they?
3.1 Form a government
3.1.1 Majority party
leader becomes PM
3.1.2 PM appoints ministers
to form government
3.1.3 Possible that no party will gain a majority and be
able to form government (as in 2010) due to
proportional representation (a majoritarian system)
3.2.1 Politicians represent their constituencies(link
between the people and those who govern them,
enabling the people to hold politicians to account)
3.2.2 Public elect government to
represent them (establishing a link
between the govt & public opinion)
3.2.3 5 years between elections - how
far/for how long do elected politicians
represent the views of the public?
3.2.4 How can politicians represent their electors
(trustees vs. delegates, manifestoes = doctrine of
the mandate, descriptive representation)?
3.3.1 By voting the public consent that
the government has ‘right to rule’
3.3.2 This provides
3.3.3 Declining rates of participation
– particularly voter turnout
3.3.4 Alienation and voter apathy
3.3.5 Falling support for Labour & Conservatives –
popular dissatisfaction with UK political system?
4 Election systems
4.1.1 Where is it used?
184.108.40.206 HoC in England, local govt
220.127.116.11 Constituency system; returns single
candidate; winner takes all effect
18.104.22.168 Simple and straightforward system
22.214.171.124 Effective in forming a strong
and stable government
126.96.36.199 Lower cost to administer
188.8.131.52 Adverse affect on political participation
184.108.40.206 Can encourage tactical voting
220.127.116.11 Does not proportionally reflect
the views of the electorate
18.104.22.168 Discriminates against parties
with more dispersed support
4.2.1 Where is it used?
22.214.171.124 London Mayor (SV) & Scottish local govt by-elections
126.96.36.199 AV: Voters use preferential voting SV: Voters have 2
votes – a preference & supplementary vote
188.8.131.52 Winning candidates must win 50% of all votes cast. In AV
below 50% drop out until one left with 50% of vote. In SV top 2
remain in election, with those below 50% having their votes
redistributed on the basis of their SV, so winner achieves 50%
184.108.40.206 Few votes are "wasted" the FPTP
220.127.116.11 Broad range of views and opinions influence
outcome of the election, with parties thus
being drawn towards the centre ground
18.104.22.168 Outcome determined by preference of those who
support small parties possibly extremist parties
22.214.171.124 Winning candidates may enjoy little
first-preference support - least unpopular candidate
4.3.1 Where is it used?
126.96.36.199 N.Ireland Assembly, local govt &
European Parliament, & Scotland local govt
188.8.131.52 Multimember constituencies; voting based on preferentiality
of candidates; votes counted in order of preference;
candidate’s votes with the fewest are redistributed.
184.108.40.206 Highly proportional outcomes
220.127.116.11 Competition amougst candidates form same party - can be
judged on their individual records and personal strengths
18.104.22.168 Several members means choose who
they can take their grievances to
22.214.171.124 Proportionally achieved in this system
can vary, basis of the party system
126.96.36.199 Single party government unlikely
188.8.131.52 Divisive because they encourage competion
amoughst members of the same party
4.4.1 Where is it used?
184.108.40.206 Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly
& Greater London Assembly
220.127.116.11 Mixed in that proportion of seats sfilled by FPTP (Scotland &
London 56% of representatives filled this way, 66% in Wales).
18.104.22.168 For remaining seats, closed (voters only see the
party, not the specific candidates) party-list system
used – voters cast 2 votes, one for candidate in
constituency and another for a party in a list election.
22.214.171.124 Balance need constituency representation
against the need for electoral fairness
126.96.36.199 Keeps alive the possibility of single-party government
188.8.131.52 Reduce high level of proportionality
184.108.40.206 Create confusion by having two class representatives
220.127.116.11 Constituency representation will be less effective - large
size of constituencies means loss of constituency duties
4.5 Regional party list
4.5.1 Where is it used?
18.104.22.168 European Parliament
(except N. Ireland)
22.214.171.124 Multimember constituencies (e.g. UK has 12
regions with 3-10 members = 72 members);
126.96.36.199 political parties form lists of candidates for the
electorate in descending order of preference –
electors votes for parties not candidates;
188.8.131.52 parties allocated seats in proportion to votes
they gain at regional level from their party list.
184.108.40.206 Pure proportional representation - fair to all partys'
220.127.116.11 Promote unity - identify with a reign
18.104.22.168 Minority candidates elected
22.214.171.124 Weak and unstable government
126.96.36.199 Weak link between representatives
188.8.131.52 Party become powerful as can decide
where candidates are placed on the listed
5 Distinguish between majoritarian
representation and proportional representation
5.1 Majoritarian representation can be
ascribed some of the following features :
5.1.1 Parties can get a majority of the seats without necessarily obtaining
a majority of the votes cast which means that governments are often
formed without the support of 50% of those who voted
5.1.2 Majoritarian systems are said to engineer a ‘winners
bonus’ in that one party is often over rewarded in
terms of seats for the number of votes they received.
5.1.3 First past the post (a plurality system)
usually produces majoritarian representation
5.1.4 In this sense the Westminster system of governments
requiring 50% (+1) 326 seats is majoritarian.
5.1.5 This type of representation often ensures that one
party obtains a majority of the seats in a legislature
5.1.6 It is associated with strong
single party government
5.1.7 The Alternative Vote and the Supplementary Vote are majoritarian
systems which attempt to provide majoritarian representation
5.2 Proportional representation can be
ascribed some of the following features:
5.2.1 There is a close correlation between the number of
votes cast and the number of seats which are obtained.
5.2.2 This means that often political parties
are rewarded with a fair share of the
seats for the votes they obtained
5.2.3 At its optimum level this would mean for example
that if a party received 30% of the vote cast it
should receive 30% of the seats available.
5.2.4 It is said to confer a greater sense of
legitimacy on governments which are
formed subsequent to an election
5.2.5 Often proportional representation means that a
majority one party government is not achieved and that
coalitions are the normal outcome of this system.
5.2.6 The list system, AMS and STV are
proportional systems which aim to
provide proportional representation