British Government's Decisions Are Under Constant Scrutiny Essay

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Elections have become an important part of today’s society and the Governments decisions are constantly under scrutiny. This accentuates the role of the Parties and the intricate process they go through in order to claim their seat in the House of Commons. The main British Electoral system to date is properly titled the ‘Simple Majorities in Single-Membered Constituencies’, however the more commonly known name for this is ‘First Past The Post’.
First Past the Post (FPTP) is known as a plurality vote system in single member constituencies. This means that in each constituency it is the candidate who wins the largest number of votes who wins. The candidate doesn’t need an overall majority of 50% plus and it is quite possible to win a seat
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FPTP brings us a decisive result and there are usually no minority governments or coalitions.
However FPTP only truly provides the chance for success or election to the larger Parties. It helps the larger parties because they have concentrated support in some regions. However it should be said that the Conservatives suffered in Scotland and Wales and in 1997 won no seats in either country. So occasionally it isn’t only the bigger parties that gain. The main point is that parties do very well under FPTP if they have concentrated support in some regions. The overriding disadvantage of FPTP it is possible to win seats with only 40% of the overall vote, but if a party’s support is spread out over many different constituencies this can prove very difficult. An example of this is the Liberal Democrats. They often win 20-30% of the vote in constituencies in some regions, but unfortunately for them and their supporters, this is not usually enough. The largest parties, Conservative and Labour, win plenty of seats as they have concentrated support in many areas and they don’t need to have overall majorities to win these seats. To illustrate this, Labour won the General Election in 1997 by 179 seats but with only 44% of the national vote. This is obviously not a proportional result and can potentially induce disfranchisement amongst the public. To help me exemplify the disproportionate results FPTP can produce, take the number of votes won by

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