Elections - Modern issues

3 important questions on Elections - Modern issues

what is 'proportional representation'? Is it used at all in Britain?

It means that parties are represented in the government according to the number of votes they get at elections. This would give opportunities for other parties than the two large ones to get seats in Parliament and therefore it is not to the advantage  of the two-party system. Proportional representation is already used in northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland and some local government bodies, but not at a national level yet.

What is the turnout of the elections?

Voting is not obligatory in Britain. From the 1950s the turnout (the proportion of people entitled to vote who actually vote) varied from 71% to 84%. However, in the three elections of this century it has dropped well below 70%. It appears to be the youngest age group who voted the least.

What changes in the relationship between social classes and voting behaviour have taken place?

There was a time when most working-class people voted Labour and most middle-class people voted Conservative all their lives. The winning party was the one which managed to get the most of the 'floating voters'. This is no longer the case. Also there is more support for other than the two large parties, such as Liberal Democrats. People now seem to be more fluid in there voting habits. Also, when it comes to voting, ideology seems to be less important than presentation.

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