Flashcards in FPTP - Revision Deck (11)
Name some advantages of FPTP
- Easy to understand and produces a clear result in each constituency. This is mainly due to the amount of safe seats in the UK (368)
- The system tends to produce a clear winner in the general election. This helps to create a 'strong and stable' government.
- Helps to prevent extremist parties breaking into the system.
Name how we could improve aspects of FPTP
- Ditch the 'winners bonus'
- Switch to Alternative vote (AV). Encourages political diversity and is more fairer.
- Ditch the 'single member constituency system'. In the 2001 election, 333 MP's were elected on a minority vote.
- Not a proportional system, leads to greatly exaggerated wins. For example, in 2010, Labour candidate Glenda Jackson won her seat in Hampstead and Kilburn with only 32.8% of the vote.
Give an example of the 'winners bonus' in action
- In the 2001 election, Labour won a huge majority of seats despite polling only 40.7% of the vote.
Give an example of how minority parties perform under FPTP
- Minority parties are usually heavily penalised, winning far fewer seats than their strength in the country entitles them to.
- For example, in the 2015 general election UKIP got 3.8 million votes yet only got 1 seat.
- However, Lib Dems got 8 seats with 2.4 million votes, far fewer than UKIP's.
- Under AMS in 2016, 6 Greens were elected to the Scottish Parliament with 6% of votes
Describe a typical demographic that is likely to vote Conservative
(All statistics from the 2010 general election)
- Older voters are more likely to vote Conservative. 43.9% of voters who voted Conservative were aged 65+.
- Rural areas are much more likely to vote Conservative.. For example, 51.9% voted Conservative in Devon compared to just 6.9% who voted Labour.
- Voters who live in the South are much more likely to vote Conservative.
Give examples as to why FPTP does not produce a 'strong and stable' government.
- In the 2010 election, it produced a coalition government.
- In the 2017 election, it produced a hung parliament.
Give some examples as to why FPTP does produce a 'strong and stable' government
- Tends to produce a single party government that is strong enough to create legislation and tackle the country's problems, without relying on the support of other parties.
- Most governments under the system have lasted the full 5 year term, this suggests that governments produced under FPTP are stable. Means they are unlikely to collapse or receive a vote of 'no confidence'.
Give some examples as to why FPTP is not a democratic system.
- In the 2015 general election, the Conservatives won a majority in the House of commons despite receiving only 37% of the vote in the UK.
Give an example as to why PR should not be brought back to Westminster.
- Extremist parties such as the BNP could enter mainstream politics. In 2011, the BNP gained 2,500 votes in Glasgow. Therefore, they have a much better chance of gaining an MSP under PR rather than under a single member FPTP system.
Marginal seat example (SNP)
- In 2017, for example, the SNP won North East Fife by only 2 votes