Discuss the Advantages and Disadvantages of First Past the Post Voting System Essay

First Past the Post is the voting system used in General elections in the UK. It has many advantages, like the fact that it provides a clear view of the parties that can be voted for, such as Liberal Democrats, Labour, and Conservative, among others. It usually allows Single party governments, and rarely ends up in hung, or coalition governments, such as the likes that we are in at the moment.

It also prevents extremist parties such as BNP from having a large say in government, as a party much have at least 5% of votes to do this. It also allows voters to choose between people rather than just the parties, and it gives a chance for popular independent candidates to be elected. Last but not least, it is also by far the simplest voting system around, which is mainly why it is so popular- it only requires one vote for the party of your choice, one tick and it is done.

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However, there are also many disadvantages to this system, being that It excludes smaller parties from ‘fair’ representation, as the votes do not always represent that amount of seats taken up by a particular party. It excludes the minorities from gaining a fair representation, which does not conclude with the idea of having a representative democracy.. It leaves a large number of wasted votes which do not go towards the election of any candidate, if this candidate does not gain the most votes.

It can also cause vote-splitting, if the voter is not sure of which party to vote for. Many voters are disturbed byu the idea that their votes are useless if their party does not gain the most votes and win, and this deters them from voting at all, at times. Finally, FPTP systems are dependent on the drawing of electoral boundaries. If there are more supporters of a particular party in different boundaries, then other parties are left with little options that to try and change the opinions of the people with their policies and actions.