The British electoral system explained

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There are 650 constituencies (areas) in the United Kingdom and our political voting structure goes by the First Past The Post system. The candidate or party with the most votes in the country or neighbourhood wins. Sometimes a by-election is held when a minister representing a constituency dies or resigns- but until a new member of parliament is chosen, matters are dealt with by a neighbouring MP of the same party. There were five by-elections between 2017 and 2019, one of them being when labour candidate Ruth Jones replaced labour MP Paul Flynn due to his death.

You may have heard of the term ‘hung parliament’- but what does this mean? It is when no single party wins the overall majority vote and so the prime minister who was in power before the general elections stays in power and is given different options. For example, negotiating with other political groups or creating a coalition government. They can resign from their post, which usually happens if they fail to compromise with the other large opposition parties. Back in 2010, Conservative leader David Cameron and Liberal Democrats leader Nick Clegg formed a partnership just days after the general election.

When it comes to the geographical statistics of where candidates have a higher chance of winning, location is important. Cities like Glasgow and Liverpool have been pro-labour since 1983, while Bournemouth is traditionally conservative. This is where the terms ‘safe seat’ and ‘marginal seat’ come into play. A safe seat is where a certain party has a higher chance of winning that their competitor in a constituency, whereas a marginal seat is where two parties are very close in popularity.

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