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The Aftermath of the 2010 UK General Election: Weighted First-Past-The-Post

Jeremy T. Bradley, Helen J. Wilson

Technical Report
Imperial College London
May, 2010

The weighted first-past-the-post voting system is based on the traditional first-past-the-post voting system which is used in UK parliamentary elections to the House of Commons. The observation is that the outcome of the first-past-the-post system is too dependent on the constituency boundary definitions, with entirely different results possible from the same voting pattern but different boundary configurations.

The weighted version defines a constituency weight which removes the dependency on boundary definitions. The elected MP votes with this weight in the House of Commons. The total weight of a party is the sum of all the weights of its individual MPs. The weight of the party is aligned to the national share of the vote that that party receives with the constituency weights being given by evenly dividing the party weight by the number of elected MPs in that party.

Some measures are introduced to deal with very small parties and Independents to allow them to be represented fairly as now without having a substantial national presence. The last five election results are presented using the weighted first-past-the-post system.

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