What is a minority government?

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General Election Coverage brought to you by LSU Media News

Lizzie Akass

To explain this, we need to firstly understand how the voting system for our government works; which is called First Past the Post, or FPTP.

What’s FPTP?
House of Commons

House of Commons

Simply put, it means each person can vote for one party whom they wish to elect to represent the ward or constituency where they are registered to vote. The person who gets the most votes wins the seat for their party in Parliament, and becomes their MP (Member of Parliament). The MP does not necessarily need to win over 50% of the vote in your ward, they just need to win more votes than anyone else.

So, what is a minority government?

It’s where a party gets more seats (MPs) than any other, so still get into power, but may have less than 50% of the overall vote. This may well happen in the next election as for now, long gone is the historical battle between largely the two major parties, the Conservatives and Labour. Now, we have what appears to be strong support in various constituencies for other parties, such as the SNP, the Green party, UKIP, and the Lib Dem party, and more. This means that the votes are more spread out between parties, rather than focused between the two major ones, making it likely that the party with the most votes may not reach the 50% mark.

Whatever happens, it is likely that the party with the most votes will choose to either form a coalition or seek strong support from one or more other parties to form a government that creates more confidence in the public. This is a complex choice for any minority government to make, although they do have the choice to remain on their own as a minority as well.

Be sure to check LSU Media News for updates on the General Election as well as comment pieces and general information to assist in making the right choice for you

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