Reforming United Kingdom's Electoral System Essay

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Reforming United Kingdom's Electoral System

For centuries Britain has used and adapted the First Past The Post (FPTP) Electoral system. It has been developed through a growing country that is reflected in the unwritten constitution. FPTP is arranged whereby the country is split into constituencies, and any candidate (as long as he/she pays a £500 deposit) may stand to be elected. The candidate with the largest share of votes wins the seat, is elected to Parliament and becomes an MP. The MP has the right to go to every Parliament session and vote on legislation for the four or five year term. The candidate usually stands under a party name. This means when an MP under a party name gets a seat,
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This results in a concentration of support. For example: traditionally, the South East, where the general population is wealthier than that of other areas, has supported the Conservatives. With geographical trends like these, areas of the country go without representation in Government for long periods of time. Areas such as the South West which has a strong Liberal Democrat history, has never been represented in Government, and so the system can be said to be unfair and undemocratic. Secondly, our electoral system is said to be democratic, yet the third party (Liberal Democrats) gets a disproportionate amount of seats in comparison to the vote. Not only does First Past The Post make it very hard for the Liberal Democrats to get a seat (one seat cost them over 90,000 votes in 2001), but as they are not in Government, the Party's manifesto cannot be carried out and so they are not ever represented fully. This raises the question that with a more representative system: would Liberal Democrats and their supporters gain more representation or even power? Evidently, it is the choice of candidate and party that should be recognised and that majority choice given precedence. However, though many may think we have a choice in a General Election, often it is limited. Firstly, when voting, a voter may choose only from the list they are given. The
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