Recent Electoral Systems and Democracy Stats

The following stats and case study examples may be useful if you are doing electoral systems and/or representation and democracy on Unit 1 this summer. Just a month to go now so I hope revision is bedding in well. 

2015 General Election – First Past the Post criticisms

UKIP 12.4% of vote, 1 seat, SNP 4.7 % 56 seats

Also 63.1 % did not vote Conservative, yet they obtained a majority of 12 seats. Conservatives won their majority on just 36.9% of the turnout and just 24.4% of the entire available electorate.

Turnout – 66.1 % – 33.9% abstention. 3rd election in a row there has been an increase but does not compare with 1974 (78%) or even 1997 (72%)

18-24 Turnout 58%

Two parties still dominate Westminster with 85% of the seats for 67% of the vote.

In the 2015 General Election, only 328 MPs (51%) had a ‘majority mandate’, while 322 MPs (49%) had a ‘minority mandate’.

Stoke By-election 2017 – More First Past the post Criticisms

First of all note that the turnout at just 36.7% means 63.3% of the electorate in Stoke did not cast a vote. You could argue that the result therefore lacks legitimacy.

The winning candidate has the positive vote of around just 13% of the entire constituencies electorate, an obvious flaw of FPTP.

In addition 63.91% of all votes cast in this by-election were wasted. So almost 2/3 didn’t vote and of those who did, 2/3rds of the votes did not count. This is one of the biggest flaws in FPTP.

Scottish Parliament Election Results (Additional Member System, AMS) 2016

Conservative 7 FPTP seats for  22% share of the vote

Labour 3 FPTP seats for 22.6% of the vote

Even more bizarrely…

Conservatives 24 seats for  22.9% in the Party list element whilst the SNP got just 4 PArty List seats for 41.7% of the regional vote. This is due to the way the D’hondt formula counterbalances gains in one element against gains in the other.

Welsh Assembly Election Results (Additional Member System, AMS) 2016

Plaid Cymru 6 constituency seats for  21.1% of the constituency votes compared to Lib Dems 1 Constituency seat for  12.5% of the constituency votes

Ukip got 7 regional seats on 13% of the regional vote compared to Labour with  2 regional seats on 31.5% of the regional vote

London Assembly Election (Additional Member System) 2016

Labour London wide vote 40.3% but only 3 seats, Conservatives also 3 seats on Conservative 29.2%  of the London wide vote

Turnout for London Assembly elections – Turnout 45.6% – up from 38.1% in 2012, so AMS would not necessarily remedy the voter apathy problem that FPTP is said to suffer from

Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough By-Election (First-Past-The-Post)

33.2% – down from 54.8% in the 2015 General Election turnout very low for by-elections.


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