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The Progressive Policy Think Tank

Devising an Electoral System for the 21st Century: The case for AMS

The 2010 general election result has put electoral reform centre stage and dealt a potentially terminal blow to the First Past the Post (FPTP) system.

Generally in discussions about changes to the voting system it has been assumed the choice is between three options: AV, Alternative Vote Plus (AV+) or the Single Transferable Vote (STV).

However, this paper argues that it is the Additional Member System (AMS) which is most suited to the UK context. AMS combines the best elements of the current system with a rightful focus on proportionality, representation and fairness.

The paper begins with an assessment of the failings of the current FPTP system and the core arguments for genuine electoral reform. It then establishes a number of criteria which any new electoral system must satisfy. There is then an analysis of the various alternative electoral systems. Having concluded that AMS represents the most appropriate electoral system for the UK, the report concludes with an analysis of why AMS would be good for British political life in a wider sense.