Electoral systems in the UK
Majoritarian: First Past The Post (FPTP) Supplementary Vote (SV) Alternative Vote (AV)
Single member constituencies
FPTP – winning candidates need just one more vote than the next candidate. Voter gets one vote.
AV and SV – winning candidate needs over 50% of the total vote. 2 votes (1st and 2nd preference).
PR: Party List (open and closed) Single Transferrable Vote (STV) Multi-member constituencies based on quota system.
Hybrid: Additional Member System (AMS) AMS – voter has two votes, one for a candidate under FPTP, one for party under PR system.
Candidate who wins the most votes takes the seat.
However, this does provide a disproportionate balance between votes and seats.
Calls have been made for electoral reform and proportional representation, this produces more balance between votes won and seats gained. * PR is the main rival to FPTP * Basic principle is simple: Representatives elected in a multi-member rather than single constituencies. The number of seats a party wins is proportional to its support among voters/numbers of votes. * If a Labour candidate wins 50% of the vote, they gain five out of 10 seats. If a Conservative wins 30%, three seats etc.
Party List system
This is the most common form of PR, used in UK for European Parliament since 1999, except Northern Ireland. * Representatives elected in larger, multi-member constituencies * Each party puts up a slate of candidates equal to the number of seats in the constituency * Voters indicate their preference for a particular party and the parties then receive seats in proportion to their share of the vote * In a five member constituency, if Labour won 40%, they’d receive 2 out of 5 seats * The two winning candidates would be chosen based on their in party ranking
Some argue that PR solves some of the problems caused by simple plurality-majority voting systems.
It provides a more accurate representation of parties, better representation for political/ethnic minorities, fewer wasted…