This category contains 18 posts


This weeks Guardian podcast examines the Police Commissioner elections with a particular emphasis on the general apathy that was expressed not only in these but also in the by- elections that took place this month. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/audio/2012/nov/16/politics-weekly-podcast-police-elections Advertisements

Safe Seats

Safe seats are an undemocratic side effect of FPTP. The fact that British general elections under FPTP are decided by a few swing voters in marginal seats is not the most democratic way to elect our government. Neither does it encourage turnout in the safe seats. This Democratic Audit pamphlet examines how FPTP creates safe … Continue reading

Electoral Reform Revision

The LSE Politics Blog seems to know that you are all about to start revising electoral systems as it has a brilliant post this week outlining the workings of each of the electoral systems. If you are ensure of the mechanics of the five systems used in the UK this is an excellent place to … Continue reading

The hollow centre

Many political scientists believe that the key to electoral success is to position yourself in the ideological centre because most voters are naturally inclined to position themselves in a moderate position. The New Statesman questions whether or not all of our political parties have failed to follow the electorate to the centre of the ideological … Continue reading

Turn out predicted to hit record low

The next set of elections in the UK will be to select the new Police Commissioners. The notion of elected police commissioners was a central part of the Conservative manifesto in 2010. With turnout predicted to hit a new low of 18% questions are being raised about the legitimacy of the protest. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9483006/Turnout-of-18-predicted-for-police-commissioner-election-shambles.html The Electoral … Continue reading

The Rise of UKIP

A worrying thought in many ways- but this piece that Mr Carr Hill spotted in the Guardian makes interesting reading about the potential impact of UKIP on the Conservative performance at the next general election. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/19/ukip-force-shape-2015-election

Lions and electoral systems

If you are still a little puzzled by the workings of AMS- this short video explains the system through the medium of zoo animals. What more could you want from a youtube clip- mixed member hybrid electoral systems and lizards! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QT0I-sdoSXU It’s worth noting that when the narrator talks about MMP (mixed member plurality system) … Continue reading

Duverger’s Law

Duverger’s Law is a classic piece of political science. Maurice Duverger writing in the 1950s stated that plurality electoral systems led to 2 party party systems. This post from Patrick Dunleavy on the LSE politics blog suggests that outside of the USA Duverger’s Law is a dead parrot. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/06/18/duvergers-law-dead-parrot-dunleavy/#more-24544 This post is packed with excellent … Continue reading

Evaluation of SV

An excellent blogpost from Patrick Dunleavy looking at the pros and cons of SV in London. Perfect for a question asking you to outline the criticisms of electoral systems or the impact of electoral systems in the UK. Particularly in reference to whether or not the electorate understands systems other than FPTP sufficiently to express … Continue reading

SV and AMS

This is an interesting piece about the mechanics and pros and cons of the electoral systems used in London. On the day of the London Elections Dave Hill discusses his thoughts on the process http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/02/jenny-jones-london-mayor-voting?newsfeed=true Dave Hill is contemplating Green- despite the fact that he knows that Jenny Jones is not going to be mayor. … Continue reading

The Week in Westminster

Peter Oborne is always good value and this week’s edition of Week in Westminster was particularly good for Unit 1. Tory divisions over the budget were discussed and there was a great section about representation for minor parties under FPTP with George Galloway, Caroline Lucas and Nigel Farage all expressing their views about the nature … Continue reading

H’Angus the Monkey- voting for the ‘other’ parties

Yesterday my set and I were talking about the nature of the UK party system and the fact that how we vote and who represents us elsewhere is different to the nature of representation at Westminster. Our voting behaviour at all levels of elections and our representaiton in second order chambers (EU Parliament, GLA, Scottish … Continue reading


If you are still feeling a little confused about Electoral Reform, this is an excellent video Dr Simon Usherwood from the University of Surrey explain the nature of the electoral reform debate through the medium of Lego… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F3ahU0gsy-0&feature=player_embedded  

Elected Mayors

Sn interesting piece from the LSE blog concerning the Warwick Commission’s investigation into the impact of elected mayors on the UK. Some worthwile bits in this piece for both the elections topic as well as the democracy aspect of Unit 1. http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2012/02/16/elected-mayors-commission-research/

FPTP Is No Longer Working

When answering a question on whether or not their should be electoral reform at Westminster, it would be helpful to show that FPTP is becoming increasingly unfit for purpose and that the arguments against the system now outweigh those in favour (this would also be a good point to make in a conclusion of an … Continue reading

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