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First-past-the-post (FPTP)

The First-past-the-post voting system is the simplest of all the voting systems used in UK elections. Simply put: each voter has a single vote, and the candidate with the most votes wins the seat. It is used in UK Parliament elections and for English and Welsh local government elections.

Block vote

The only variation of this voting system is known as the Block Vote. Some local government seats are multi-member, meaning, for example, that they may return three councillors to represent one ward. In this instance, the voter will get three votes. This is sometimes called a block vote. Voters do not have to vote for candidates from the same party, however.

Example election

Taking an example ward from the 2019 local elections in Lincolnshire, you can see that the independent candidate was the most popular and so was elected, but only two of the three Conservatives were. If the Conservative vote had been split more evenly between their candidates, then they may have allowed the sole Labour candidate to get elected. Parties and voters, therefore, have to take an educated guess at how well they may do in this sort of election. Parties may wish to indicate who their lead candidates are to voters.

2019 South Kesteven District Council election

Deeping St James Ward (three seats)

Candidates Votes
Independent 1,291 (Elected)
Conservative Party 349
Labour Party 461
Conservative Party 945 (Elected)
Conservative Party 714 (Elected)