A quadruple whammy for first-past-the-post

Adrian Blau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the 1970s, the British electoral system has come under pressure from four factors: the decline of the cube law; the increase in minor-party seats; the decreased cohesiveness of legislative majorities; and the rise in pro-Labour bias. The first and last factors have been widely discussed though not always well understood; the second and third factors have been largely overlooked. New methods are presented for assessing the impact of these developments on past and future elections. First-past-the-post is shown to have been weakened, but not fatally. Ultimately, the biggest challenge to first-past-the-post is not intellectual but practical: whatever the theoretical arguments, these four developments may mean that electoral reform is more likely in practice. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)431-453
Number of pages22
JournalElectoral Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004


  • British general elections
  • Cube law
  • Electoral reform
  • Electoral systems
  • Partisan bias


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