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The 2010 UK General Election

Old 04-06-10, 09:35 AM
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The 2010 UK General Election

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has dissolved Parliament and called for a general election on May 6. I thought we should have a thread about it. It is likely the Tories will win, although they may not get a majority.

I'll probably be following the campaign pretty closely, and I'll post updates here.
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Old 04-06-10, 10:06 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Go UKIP!
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Old 04-06-10, 10:08 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

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Old 04-06-10, 10:15 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Ideology is dead. That makes it difficult to get particularly interested in either group of middle-management types running the country. I suppose it's the Tory's turn to run the country for a while, though I don't think they'll make a better fist of it than the current lot. Frankly it seems that nothing particularly major is on the agenda for change right now. That being said does it really matter which breed of snouts is at the trough?
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Old 04-06-10, 10:28 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

This is definitely the year the Ulster Unionists take control.
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Old 04-06-10, 10:41 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Election race begins as Brown confirms 6 May date

Political leaders have headed off on the campaign trail after Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced the UK general election would be held on 6 May.

He said he would seek a "clear" mandate to continue the "road to recovery", as Labour bids for a fourth term.

David Cameron whose Conservative Party has been ahead in the polls, said they offered "hope" and a "fresh start".

Nick Clegg, leader of the UK's third biggest party the Liberal Democrats, said only they offered "real change".

Shortly after announcing the date at Downing Street, Mr Brown boarded a train and headed to Kent to meet voters at a supermarket in Rochester, Mr Cameron headed to a hospital in Edgbaston, Birmingham while Mr Clegg is meeting young people in Watford.

All three are leading their parties into a general election for the first time.
Announcing the widely-predicted 6 May election date after meeting the Queen, Mr Brown said he wanted a "clear and straightforward mandate" to continue the work of economic recovery.

He said he would be travelling the country telling voters: "Britain is on the road to recovery and nothing we do should put that recovery at risk."

He added: "We will not allow 13 years of investment and reform in our public services, to build up the future of these great services, to be put at risk."

Mr Brown also said he would produce a plan to make politics more transparent and accountable.
Stressing his "ordinary middle-class background" he said Labour would "fight for fairness at all times".

Mr Brown said: "We will say to the British people: 'Our cause is your cause'," before adding: "Let's go to it."

But Mr Cameron said he offered a "modern Conservative alternative" and his party offered "hope, optimism and change" and a "fresh start".

"It's the most important general election for a generation. It comes down to this. You don't have to put up with another five years of Gordon Brown."

He criticised 13 years of Labour's "big government" and said it was time for the Tories' "big society" instead. He pledged to work for the "great ignored", who he described as "honest hard-working people" who "do the right thing".

"Let's get off this road to ruin and instead get on the path to prosperity and progress," he said.

Lib Dem leader Mr Clegg said the election campaign would not be a "two-horse race" between the two biggest parties, and people were "crying out for something different".

"All bets are off," he said.

"This is a choice now between the old politics of the two old parties and something new, something different, which the Liberal Democrats offer."

Hung Parliament

The election campaign will be the first to feature live television debates between the three main party leaders in the UK.

BBC, Sky and ITV announced the first 90-minute debates would be on ITV on Thursday 15 April, the next on Sky on 22 April and the last on the BBC on 29 April.

The three main parties - along with a host of other smaller parties - will be fighting for 650 seats, four more than currently exist because of constituency boundary changes.

SNP leader Alex Salmond, the first minister of Scotland, hopes his party will win 20 seats at Westminster. He told the BBC the other parties had "blown the gaffe" by outlining plans for deep cuts.

"In these circumstances the need for Scotland to have national champions in the SNP is greater than ever before," he said.

'Old politics'

He said the SNP would work with Plaid Cymru in the event of a hung parliament to try to secure the best deals for Scotland and Wales.

Plaid Cymru's leader Ieuan Wyn Jones added: "We want to secure the best deal for Welsh communities in this election. And in a situation where no party has overall control in the next parliament then we will be fighting for a fairer funding system for the people of Wales, to make sure we can protect our jobs, protect our schools and protect our services."
To secure an overall majority, a party must win at least 326 seats. If no party succeeds in doing so, the result will be a hung Parliament.

After 13 years in power, Labour enters the election with a notional majority of 48 seats, meaning that a loss of 24 seats would see them lose their overall majority.

Whatever the result, the make-up of the House of Commons will change significantly following the election, with 144 MPs so far having announced that they will stand down.

Parliament will not be officially dissolved until Monday 12 April - MPs will spend this week getting remaining legislation, that the parties can agree on, through Parliament - a process known as the "wash-up".

MPs will not return until Tuesday 18 May - later than the traditional start date of the week after the election - after a modernisation committee recommended there should be 12 days between the events, to allow for a proper induction for new MPs.

Opinion polls timed to coincide with the announcement all suggest a Conservative lead over Labour, by differing margins.

An ICM survey for the Guardian indicates the Tory lead has dropped to just four points, with the Conservatives on 37%, Labour on 33% and the Lib Dems on 21%.

However a YouGov poll in the Sun and another by Opinium for the Daily Express suggest the Tories have opened up a 10% lead - the margin David Cameron is likely to need in order to win an outright majority on 6 May. The Sun has the Tories on 41%, Labour on 31% and the Lib Dems on 18%. The Express reports a 39/29/17 split.
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Old 04-06-10, 10:43 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

It's interesting that Mr Cameron is trumpeting the idea of 'big society', when the most successful Tory PM in recent memory famously observed that there was no such thing as society.
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Old 04-06-10, 11:46 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Here's the UKIP platform:

Introduction

UKIP wants Britain to regain three essential freedoms by leaving the EU: Freedom of Action, so we can control our borders and no longer have to grovel to the EU for permission to save our Post Offices, factories, etc.; Freedom of Resources, by keeping the £16.4bn p.a. in cash (£45m a day) currently sent to Brussels and spending that money in the UK; Freedom of the People, with real power returning to British citizens from remote EU bureaucrats.

The full UKIP manifesto is available to download from the ‘Policies’ section of ukip.org. Also available for download are UKIP’s 17 ‘Pocket Policies’. In summary, UKIP will:

1 The Economy: Tax, Budget & Regulation

· Make massive savings by leaving the EU. No British jobs or trade will be lost
· Take tax off the minimum wage by raising the tax threshold to £11,500
· Reduce everyone’s taxes with a 31% flat tax
· Abolish the ‘tax on jobs’: phase out employers’ NI contributions over five years
· Axe Britain’s gigantic quango mountain and public sector non-jobs to reduce UK national debt
· Release businesses from 120,000 EU laws
· Replace VAT with a ‘Local Sales Tax’ to help councils and local businesses

2 The Economy: Jobs, Enterprise & Skills

· Create one million new skilled jobs with public and private investment in a five-point public works programme to provide defence equipment, nuclear power stations, flood and coastal protection, transport infrastructure including high-speed rail lines, and new prisons
· Abolish costly EU schemes such as carbon capping, emissions trading, and landfill taxes
· Amend the UK Takeover Code to prevent foreign interests from gaining control of strategic British companies

3 Immigration & Asylum

· End uncontrolled mass immigration
· Introduce an immediate five-year freeze on immigration for permanent settlement
· Regain control of Britain’s borders to stop foreign criminals from entering our country
· End abuse of the UK asylum system and expel Islamic extremists
· Introduce a strict new points-based visa system and time-limited work permits
· Triple the number of UK Borders Agency staff engaged in controlling immigration (to 30,000)

4 Law & Order/Crime

· Enable voters to set policing priorities through locally-elected County Police Boards
· Demand zero tolerance on crime and double prison places to assure this
· Make sentences mean what they say: life must mean life
· Scrap the Human Rights Act that benefits criminals and not their victims. No votes for prisoners
· Introduce a ‘Three Strikes and You’re Out’ law to lock up career criminals for good
· Abolish the Crown Prosecution Service and return to county police prosecutions

5 Defence

·Boost the military budget by 40% so our armed forces are properly equipped
· Demand one clear achievable mission for Afghanistan or seek a negotiated exit
· Keep Britain’s independent nuclear deterrent strong
· Look after our service heroes with better pay and conditions
Straight talking.
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· Expand the Army by 25% and double the TA
· Provide more RAF helicopters and aircraft
· Expand the Royal Navy to its 2001 strength, guaranteeing the future of Plymouth, Portmouth and Rosyth ports

6 Healthcare & the NHS

· Keep the NHS free at the point of delivery and make no cuts to frontline services
· Replace overlapping tiers of NHS bureaucracy (SHAs/PCTs) with locally-elected County Health Boards
· Introduce private sector ‘franchise partnerships’ to run NHS healthcare services better, while assets remain in public hands
· Introduce ‘Health Credit Vouchers’ to allow people to opt out of the NHS if they wish
· Re-examine community care and support congregate communities for people with learning disabilities
· Restore free NHS dental check-ups and eye tests

7 Education & Training

· Bring back the ‘three Rs’ to provide children with a proper educational foundation
· Encourage the creation of new grammar schools, but make the 11-plus vocational as well as academic
· Give parents ‘School Vouchers’ so they can choose between schools - state or private
· Raise standards by franchising state schools to private organisations, such as charitable trusts
· Re-introduce student grants (‘Student Vouchers’ and ‘Training Vouchers’)
· Re-examine the policy of ‘inclusion’ and support special schools for children with learning disabilities

8 Pensions

· Roll all existing state pensions and benefits into a non means-tested minimum £130pw ‘Citizen’s Pension’
· Reinstate dividend tax credit at 20%
· Reduce the annual limit for tax-relievable pension contributions to £10,000, from £255,000
· Bring public sector final salary pensions back into line with typical private pension provision
· By leaving the EU, avoid having to pay for unfunded EU pensions

9 Welfare & Social Security

· Reform the ridiculously complicated welfare system (currently more than 70 different benefits)
· Help families by rolling childcare benefits and credits into one enhanced benefit
· Allow part-time workers to continue claiming ‘Basic Cash Benefit’ until their wages reach £11,500
· Introduce council-run ‘Workfare’ projects to improve local communities
· Ensure UK benefits are only available to those who have lived here for at least five years

10 Foreign Affairs & International Trade

· Take Britain out of the EU and sign a Free Trade Agreement to keep our European trade and jobs
· Establish a Commonwealth Free Trade Area with the other member countries
· Regain Britain’s currently dormant seat at the World Trade Organisation
· Promote democracy, genuine human rights and free determination around the world

11 Energy & the Environment

· Invest in nuclear power and clean coal to avert Britain’s impending energy crisis
· Oppose wind farms in general and regulate them to be funded by the market
· Establish a Royal Commission to determine the truth about man-made global warming
· Encourage and incentivise the reduction of waste, effective methods of recycling and use of electric road vehicles and more electrified rail

12 Transport

· Invest an extra £3 billion p.a. in the UK’s road and railway system
· Introduce three new high-speed rail lines, and re-open some lines closed by Beeching
· Shelve plans for the sixth Heathrow terminal and third runway in favour of a Thames Estuary airport
· Make foreign lorries pay to use British roads with a ‘Britdisc’ and ban the EU’s ‘superlorries’
· Subject parking charges and revenue-raising devices, e.g. speed cameras to greater democratic control

13 Housing & Planning

· Build more social housing and encourage the use of 800,000 empty homes· Scrap the pointless Home Information Packs (HIPs)
· Introduce binding local planning referenda for major developments, except when there is overriding national interest
· End undemocratic regional planning in favour of county-based decision making
· Introduce conservators to help preserve green belt land

14 The Constitution & How We Are Governed

· Give the British public a right to demand binding local and national referenda on major issues
· Introduce proportional representation into national and local elections. UKIP favours the Alternative Vote Plus system
· Abolish layers of regional government
· Give voters a right of recall over corrupt MPs, enabling them to force by-elections

15 Culture & Restoring Britishness

· End support for multiculturalism and promote one shared British culture for all
· Be fair to England by introducing an ‘English Parliament’, ending the discriminatory Barnett Formula and making St George’s Day a national holiday in England
· Ban the burka and veiled niqab in public buildings and certain private buildings
· Require UK schools to teach Britain’s contribution to the world and celebrate cultures, languages and traditions from around the British Isles
· Scrap political correctness in public affairs

16 Food, Farming & the Countryside

· Support the new supermarket Ombudsman to ensure farmers receive a fair price from supermarket chains
· Introduce labelling schemes to support British farmers and high animal welfare standards
· Support GM foods research but continue to oppose GM food production and listen to evolving scientific research
· Guarantee farmers no sudden loss of CAP payments on leaving the EU
· Allow county referenda to reverse the hunting ban at local level
· Legalise more producer co-operatives to put food producers on a more equal footing with supermarket buyers

17 Fishing

· Immediately withdraw from the Common Fisheries Policy and take back control of British waters up to 200 nautical miles from the UK to save the British fishing industry and resurrect our territorial rights
· Return £2.5 billion a year in fish sales to the UK economy
· Ban shameful discarding of fish and abandon all EU quotas
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Old 04-06-10, 11:49 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

From the sound of it, the UKIP is more socialist than Labour!

How do they propose to pay for this massive expansion of the welfare state, public works, public housing...?
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Old 04-06-10, 11:53 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
From the sound of it, the UKIP is more socialist than Labour!

How do they propose to pay for this massive expansion of the welfare state, public works, public housing...?
I was going to say....that's one incoherent platform. Some parts sound socialist or populist but then others sound libertarian.

Is there is a libertarian or libertarianish party in the UK? Or do they just kind of fold in with the Tories?
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Old 04-06-10, 11:55 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
How do they propose to pay for this massive expansion of the welfare state, public works, public housing...?

Hey, no major political party in any country in the West has an answer for that question, so why are you picking on the UKIP?
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Old 04-06-10, 11:57 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
I was going to say....that's one incoherent platform. Some parts sound socialist or populist but then others sound libertarian.

Is there is a libertarian or libertarianish party in the UK? Or do they just kind of fold in with the Tories?
The closest would probably be the LibDems, but not really anymore. The Tories tend to be far too law & order-oriented and hawkish to be anything close to libertarian. On the continent there are a number of liberal parties that would be to your liking, like the Dutch VVD or the German Free Democrats. In Britian, what happened was that the Social Democrats split off from Labour, then eventually merged with the Liberals to become the Liberal Democrats. They are far less interventionist in foreign policy (they opposed the Iraq War), and still pay lip service to limited government, but they support the welfare state.
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Old 04-06-10, 11:58 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

There was a professor from the London School of Economics on this morning describing how the stances from each of the main parties were reversed from their "typical" roles. I found that both amusing and interesting.

I like how there is such a small window from announcement to election day. I imagine this would actually get to public to pay attention and not be put off by months or years, like in the US, of campaigning. With the exception of the 2000s it looks like UK turnout is roughly 25% above that for the US.
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Old 04-06-10, 12:01 PM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
but they support the welfare state.
That's not that odd though. You can't gain control of Parliament by campaigning against the NHS.
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Old 04-06-10, 12:02 PM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
The closest would probably be the LibDems, but not really anymore. The Tories tend to be far too law & order-oriented and hawkish to be anything close to libertarian. On the continent there are a number of liberal parties that would be to your liking, like the Dutch VVD or the German Free Democrats. In Britian, what happened was that the Social Democrats split off from Labour, then eventually merged with the Liberals to become the Liberal Democrats. They are far less interventionist in foreign policy (they opposed the Iraq War), and still pay lip service to limited government, but they support the welfare state.
Yeah, I know the Tories are hawkish, but I guess they've become quite centrist over the years. But Liberal Dems? That's surprising. So basically Russ Feingold types?

Hard to believe that with all the parties, there's not one that's limited government across the board.
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Old 04-06-10, 12:18 PM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Yeah, I know the Tories are hawkish, but I guess they've become quite centrist over the years. But Liberal Dems? That's surprising. So basically Russ Feingold types?

Hard to believe that with all the parties, there's not one that's limited government across the board.
I know this isn't much of a surprise (to you, or most anyone else), but there's been a lot of scholarship lately regarding how various welfare state components create their own constituencies, that are divorced entirely from voters ideology. So, even though Conservative voters might be conservative, they might still support certain elements of the welfare state quite strongly.
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Old 04-06-10, 01:10 PM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Originally Posted by Red Dog View Post
Hard to believe that with all the parties, there's not one that's limited government across the board.
Well that's only three parties really. The lib dems main policy, as with all parties, is to be elected. This leads to their key policy which involves a replacement of the current "first past the post" system of election with a system of proportional representation. Under this system (unsurprisingly) the libs would gain quite a few more seats in parliament and would hold the ballance of power for nearly every government (since nearly all would have to be coalitions). At the moment they don't have to make any other real policy calls so they tend not to - not a good idea to repel potential voters.
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Old 04-06-10, 10:13 PM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Well they are all pro gun control arent they? So Frak them all.......
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Old 04-21-10, 12:43 PM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

I know I had promised to update this thread more often, but due to my mom's passing I've been somewhat out of the loop. Anyway, here is a nice resource:

http://www.politicsresources.net/area/uk/ge10/ge10.php
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Old 04-21-10, 12:48 PM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

I read a little more on the Lib Dems and noted that they do seem to have a big tent - home to what are termed "market liberals," but the 2 sides within the Party seemed to have found enough common ground on foreign policy and civil liberties to peacefully co-exist. It was also interesting to note that the Liberal Party half of it had its origins in classic liberalism, but obviously changed substantially over time.
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Old 04-22-10, 11:10 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

The Telegraph has a resource that helps you decide for which party you would/should vote for:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/elec...tion-2010.html

I took it and got the following results:

Conservative Party: 66%
Labour Party: 44%
UK Independence Party: 43%
Liberal Democrats: 36%
Green Party: 13%
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Old 04-22-10, 11:18 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

UK Independence Party: 63%
British National Party: 56%
Conservative Party: 46%
Labour Party: 31%
Liberal Democrats: 28%
Green Party: 21%
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Old 04-22-10, 11:19 AM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

About as I figured, I got:


UKIP: 65%
Conservative: 35%
LibDems: 21%

Hmm...I wonder why I didn't get as many party suggestions as you guys? I did click on "open minded" on a number of issues I didn't have a strong opinion about....

Last edited by Ky-Fi; 04-22-10 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 04-22-10, 01:48 PM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

To give some context, here's a graph of the election results (based on percentage of the vote) for each UK general election since the war:



And here's where the parties stand as far as public opinion polling:

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Old 04-22-10, 01:56 PM
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Re: The 2010 UK General Election

Originally Posted by Burnt Thru View Post
Well that's only three parties really. The lib dems main policy, as with all parties, is to be elected. This leads to their key policy which involves a replacement of the current "first past the post" system of election with a system of proportional representation. Under this system (unsurprisingly) the libs would gain quite a few more seats in parliament and would hold the ballance of power for nearly every government (since nearly all would have to be coalitions). At the moment they don't have to make any other real policy calls so they tend not to - not a good idea to repel potential voters.
Forgot to ask about this earlier. I assume "first past the post" is the equivalent of a plurality winner? So if in one district, the L gets 38%, the C 35%, and the LD 27%, the L wins the seat.

Therefore, nationwide, the LD could get 25% of the total votes, but only say, 10% of the actual seats, correct?
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