To What Extent Do Different Electoral Systems Produce Different Outcomes?

1065 Words Apr 30th, 2014 5 Pages
To what extent do different electoral systems produce different outcomes?
In this essay I will assess the outcomes of Additional Member system, First Past the Post system and the Closed Party List system. The F-P-T-P system is used to elect the members of House of Commons and local government in England and Wales. Voters select candidates, and do so by marking his or her name with an ‘X’ on the ballot paper. This reflects the principle of ‘one person, one vote’. The Additional Members system is used in Scottish parliament, Welsh assembly, and Northern Ireland Assembly and Greater London assembly. It is a mixed system made up of F-P-T-P and party-list elements. The Regional party list (or the closed party list) is used to elect the
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Also F-P-T-P ensures that one party obtains a majority of seats, for example, there have only been three full coalition governments in the UK- two in world wars and one in 2010. Therefore, F-P-T-P voting system produces different outcomes to other voting systems as it’s a majority system. Furthermore, Additional Member system leads to different outcomes as it’s a proportional system which means the proportion of seats won by the candidates and the votes they received are proportional. For example in Scotland in 2007 the SNP received 31% of the votes and won 47 seats and Labour won 29.2% of the votes and won 46 seats. This means that often political parties are rewarded with a fair share of the seats for the votes they obtained, also in AMS the outcome is made more proportional by its constituency list top up, thus making it easier for third party candidates to make a inroad into politics. Thus AMS produces different outcomes to other electoral systems due its hybrid nature, where it combines F-P-T-P voting system with closed list system.
Moreover, Closed Party List system that is used to elect members to the European Parliament produces a different outcome to other voting systems because it is the most proportional of all systems used in UK. For example in 2009 EU parliament elections Conservatives received 227.2% of the votes and won 27 seats. This suggests that Closed Party List system assures accurate representation of parties
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