First Past the Post System

First Past the Post System

  • Elections to  Lok Sabha & legislative Assemblies,  are held in accordance with  First-Past-the Post (FPTP) system 
  • Elections to Rajya Sabha and Legislative Councils are under the system of proportional representation through single transferable vote

How First-Past-the Post System Works

  • Voters vote for one candidate =>  candidate polling  highest number of votes  is declared elected.

Advantages of First-Past-the Post system

  • It is easy to understand for electors.
  • Counting is simple.
  • Leads to stable governments in diverse country like India
  • There is an identified representative for each constituency, accountable to his electorate. 
  • Makers of our Constitution also felt that Proportional Representation based election may not be suitable for giving a stable government in a  parliamentary system

Disadvantages of First-Past-the Post system

  • Winner takes all approach
  • Parties having diffused base are not able to win even a single seat
  • Results in Minority Democracy ruling the country. Eg : Present NDA Government got 37.4 % Vote  (17th Lok Sabha)

Why we adopted First-Past-the Post system

  • SimplicityLow literacy levels  at the time of independence, and unable to understand the complexity of the Proportional Representation SYSTEM.
  • Familiarity – Before independence several elections were held regularly on the basis of First-Past-the Post system 
  • Proportional Representation SYSTEM establishes party as a major center of power whereas First-Past-the Post gives an individual as a representative of the people 

Why Opposition now

Opponents of  First Past-The-Post (FPTP) system advocate the introduction of Proportional Representation System because of issue like in diverse country like India all people don’t get their legitimate representation. Eg in the general election of 2014, party like the BSP ended up without a single representative despite over 20 per cent vote share in state.

First Past the Post versus Proportional Representation

Comparison of FPTP and PR system of election 
country is divided 
into small geographicval 
units called constituencies 
or districts 
Every constituency elects 
one representative 
Voter votes for a candidate 
A party may get more seats 
than votes in the legislature 
Candidate who wins the 
election may not get 
majority l) votes 
Examples: U.K., India 
Large geographical areas 
are demarcated as 
constituencies. 'Ille entire 
country may be a single 
More than one 
representative may be 
elected from one 
Voter votes for the party 
Every party gets seats in the 
legislature in proportion to 
the percentage of votes 
that it gets 
Candidate who wins the 
elections gets majority of 
vo tes. 
Examples: Israel, 

Hybrid System

  • Hybrid System : two systems are merged into one combining the positive features from more than one electoral system.
    • Total seats are divided into Halves . Half of the seats in Parliament are filled by First Past the Post and Half seats by Proportional Representation
    • System is running successfully in Germany, New Zealand and Italy.
    • In Germany, while voting, Person cast two votes, one to Candidate and other to the Party .
  • Need of this system
    • Parties with even 20% share of votes in state don’t even get one seat (as happened in 2014 National Votes in UP with BSP)
    • Law Commission’s 170th and 255th report also have suggested that 25% more seats should be added to the present Lok Sabha and be filled by Proportional Representation.
    • System running successfully in many European nations
    • Better compromise between FPTP System and PR System

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