First Past the Post(FPTP) is a voting method, in which citizens of a constituency(entire country is segregated into various geographical units) cast votes for the candidate, whom they wish to represent them in the Parliament.The First Past The Post(FPTP) system is the simplest form of plurality/majority system, using single member districts and candidate-centred voting. The voter is presented with the names of the nominated candidates and votes by choosing one, and only one, of them.The winning candidate is simply the person who wins the most votes.
FPTP is a common, but not universal, feature of electoral systems with single-member electoral divisions, and is practiced in close to one third of countries.In FPTP, one representative is elected from each constituency.The multi-cornered contest is also experienced, wherein the number of candidates contesting the election rises to 3 or 4 and sometimes even more than 6. In such cases, the candidate getting the highest number of total votes cast, gets the seat, as it follows the simple rule of the majority, even if it is less than 50% of total votes.It aims at electing a person who can represent the constituency, in the parliament. So, votes are cast by people for different candidates, who are nominated by a political party. Countries like UK, USA, Canada and India follows it.
Advantages and Disadvantages of FPTP
- Easy to understand and can be quick to count the votes and declare a winner.
- Voters can express a clear view on which party they want in government.
- In a two-party system, it has normally produced a single-party government with a clear mandate to govern.
- MPs can be elected with relatively small percentage of the vote.
- It encourages tactical voting where people vote against the candidate they most dislike.
- Many votes are wasted either those cast for a losing candidate or those for a winning candidate past the level needed to win the seat.
- Penalizes small parties whose votes are spread widely across the country, not concentrated in particular seats.