First-past-the-post voting

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First-past-the-post is a voting system used by some countries to elect their governments or the members of their parliaments. In a first-past-the-post system, a country is divided into constituencies, and in these constituencies people known as candidates, who each represent a different political party will stand for election to the country's parliament. In the individual constituencies, the candidate who gets the most votes from people, wins the race to be elected to a seat in parliament.

If a party wins over 50% of the seats, it can form a majority government. If no single party wins over 50% of the seats, then either the party with the most seats can form a minority government, or a coalition government can be formed from two or more of the other political parties who together have over 50% of the seats.

Countries using First-past-the-post include the United Kingdom, Canada, India and partly in the United States.

Example[change | change source]

Candidate Votes
Candidate A: 25
Candidate B: 22
Candidate C: 21
Candidate D: 18
Candidate E: 14

In a first-past-the-post system, candidate A wins because that candidate received more votes than anyone else.

Related pages[change | change source]