DUP/UUP Electoral Pact


First Past the Post always courts controversy – it’s likelihood to deliver a strong and stable government compared with it’s volume of wasted votes and lack of majority winners. To overcome one of the key flaws in FPTP, the DUP and UUP have struck a pact – in four constituencies, they will join together and only run one unionist candidate. This would avoid splitting the unionist vote giving them a much greater chance of winning and a much reduced chance of a split vote allowing a republican to take the seat.

This could be used as an example of problems with FPTP – it leads to tactical voting. However, it should be noted that they are not doing anything untoward, they are simply playing by the rules of the system as it is laid out, so this could be used in an exam as a good argument for reform. It also supports any argument about FPTP leading to the electorate voting for the ‘least bad’ candidate rather than their preferred candidate.