What is FPTP?

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FPTP or First Past The Post is a type of election or voting system wherein the candidate that wins the majority of the votes wins the election.  FPTP is also referred to as a plurality-based voting and electoral system.

The system used for FPTP is widely used in many countries around the world.  One basic reason for its use is that the system itself can easily be understood by the masses.  In order to win a particular post for example, one just needs to have more votes than the other candidates.  There is no restriction in terms of what percentage of votes is needed in order to win an election. Even if a candidate does not actually win the majority but has more votes than all other candidates, then he/she is declared the winner.  Another good thing about the FPTP system is that vote-counting is also simple and easy.  The whole concept of getting more votes than the other is simple to understand for most people and this makes voters have an easier time to make decisions.

There are also several criticisms though when the FPTP voting system in imposed. Whether the election is for an individual or a party for example, there are also disadvantages to the plurality feature of FPTP.  One big disadvantage is the fact that one does not need to get at least half or more than half of the people’s support as long as he/she gets more votes than the others.  This argument also translates to the feeling of wasted votes for the other candidates that may actually get the majority votes in total.  In terms of political party systems, the FPTP system may also favor bigger parties as they will have higher chances of gaining more wins or more seats in several posts or units.  Some people also argue that FPTP encourages people to do a tactical-type of voting wherein a person may not choose to vote for his/her actual choice but rather vote against a candidate that is disliked or not preferred.

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