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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Worst of Both Worlds: Why First Past the Post no longer works

In a time of greater political pluralism, British politics is no longer well served by a voting system that was designed for a two-party era. Nor are the interests of British democracy.

Since the 1970s, UK citizens have shown a clear appetite to vote for third parties and to embrace a form of political pluralism which runs directly against the grain of the way FPTP operates.

Not only does FPTP fail the 'fairness' test by generating major discrepancies between the number of votes secured and the proportion of seats won in the House of Commons but, as the outcome of the 2010 general election proves, FPTP can no longer claim to guarantee 'strong single-party government'.

Download John Curtice's presentation 'So what happened to the electoral system in 2010?', which is referred to in this report.