In this new series, we’ll be showing different voting systems and explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each voting system, whenever they work in the countries they’re used in.
The voting system commonly known as “First Past the Post” is the voting system used in the UK’s General Elections and the US Election as well as being used in other countries.
How does First Past the Post work? Each citizen that is eligible to vote is given one vote and the candidate with the most votes wins the election.
What are the advantages of first past the post? First past the post is easy to understand for voters and doesn’t cost too much money to run. A possible advantage for some voters is that it mainly leads to single governed governments and councils.
What are the disadvantages of first past the post? One of the biggest problems with first past the post is that normally the minority rules instead of the majority; this ends up leading to strategic voting which is when people vote not for who they like but to avoid having the candidate they dislike the most. This then ends up leading to a two party system and once a country becomes a two party system under the first past the post it is extremely hard to get out of.
Why is it hard to get rid of a two party system under first past the post? It’s hard for a third party to become elected under first past the post because most voters won’t vote for them due to strategic voting. This is because most people believe voting for a third party will waste their vote and those who do vote for a third party create a spoiler effect. What is the spoiler effect?
What is the spoiler effect? The spoiler effect is where a third party draws away votes from one of the main two party’s which then ruins that main party’s chance of winning.
Comment below whenever you think this is an effective voting system and if your country uses first past the post.