Anonymous asked in Politics & GovernmentElections · 1 month ago

how are elections in the UK performed differently than in the USA? why this is?

do they have a "election day" where people go to vote for which politician they want? like Tony Blair or Boris Johnson? how about other politicians? is it fair? and do you think you vote really counts or is it just a fraud like the US election was? why? what think of the past US election too and why?

3 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    Britons don't vote directly for Prime Minister like Americans vote for President.  They only vote for local officials and Members of Parliament.  MPs are elected more or less like members of the House of Representatives in the US.  Like American, the UK has districts which each legislator represents (in the UK the districts, known as constituencies, have names rather than numbers like in the US).  The UK and the US use a "first past the post" system where the candidate getting the most votes in a district wins.  The Prime Minister is the leader of the party with the most seats in Parliament.  If no one party has a majority, a situation which has only happened a few times in the last hundred years, then a coalition of parties must be formed to gain a majority (unlike the US, the UK has multiple parties representated in the national legislature).  So the UK doesn't have a separate election for their head of government.  It's all about the legislative elections.  Also, unlike the US, there's a set leader for the opposition party.  In the US we decide on our Presidential candidates in the election year.  But in the UK each party always has a legislative leader who would become Prime Minister should that party win the majority. 

  • Tmess2
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Several big differences.

    First, in the U.K., there is usually only one race on the ballot.  You are simply voting for the person who will represent you in parliament.

    Second, because there is only one race on the ballot, the U.K. uses paper ballots and does not use counting machines.

    Third, elections are run by non-partisan civic officials.

    Fourth, party committees select their party's candidates.  No primaries or anything like that.  The major parties do have slightly different ways of choosing the prime minister.  For the Conservatives, the members of parliament do narrow down the candidates to two before the paid party members get to choose between the final two.  Labour chooses its leaders by vote of the paid party members.  

    Fifth, it is relatively simple for third parties and independents to get on the ballot. There is a filing fee of approximately $700.00.  And your filing form has to be signed by ten registered voters "nominating" you as a candidate.  The major party candidates have the same requirement.  The filing fee is refunded if you get 5% of the vote.

    Sixth, because all of the country is in the same time zones and the rules are set by the national government, all of the polling places close at the same time (10 p.m.).  

    Seventh, all ballots must be received by the times that the polls close.  There is no later due date for military and overseas ballots (or regular absentee ballots in some states) and no post-election "cure" period for provisional ballots.  As such, while the time that it takes to count varies, all counts in Great Britain are normally completed by 6 a.m.  (Northern Ireland and some of the island districts have sometimes waited until the following day to do their counts.)

    Eight, there are no partial reports of the result in a given district.  (Because there are witnesses for the count, the media might get a broad report of how the count is going from sources but no real numbers.) The first public information about the state of the count in a district is the announcement of the final result.

    Ninth, if no party wins a majority of seats, the parties negotiate to form a coalition government.  

    Tenth, at least in the past, there was no photo ID requirement, although that may be changing.

    There are, however, some similarities.

    First, the actual election of the prime minister is an indirect election.  Voters do not vote for whom they want to be prime minister.  Instead, they are voting for their local member of parliament, and the leader of the party with a majority of seats becomes prime minister.

    Second, all parties have witnesses present to assure that the count is going properly.  If there is a significant issue with the count, a court case to challenge the result is possible although most court challenges fail.

    Third, the result in individual districts is on a first-past-the-post basis.  In other words, a candidate only needs to finish first.  It does not matter if the candidate gets a majority of the votes (although some states have a different rule, most states simply require a plurality).  It does not matter if the candidate wins by 100 votes or 10,000 votes.  As a result, the total national popular vote does not determine who wins although it is likely that the party that gets the most votes nationally will also get the most seats.

    Fourth, in close races, the election officials can decide to do a recount to verify the accuracy of the first count.  The representatives of the candidate can also ask for a recount.  (The recount occurs before the official announcement of the result so the exact state of the first count is never officially disclosed.)

    Fifth, there are multiple checks in the system to assure the accuracy of the count and to prevent voter fraud.  Voter fraud is very, very minimal.  

    As far as the U.S. election, some of the rules adopted by the U.K. would make sense because they would reduce the role of partisan officials in the election.  Despite numerous allegations of fraud, the courts that have examined those claims have found that most of the allegations represented a misunderstanding of normal election procedures.  Hand counts in various states -- Wisconsin, Arizona, Georgia among them -- have verified the accuracy of the machine counts.  Post-election audits have verified the accuracy of signature matching in several states.  And, with a handful of exceptions (amazingly mostly Trump voters), there has been no proof that any ineligible voter actually voted.  

  • Barry
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    The main difference is we don't directly elect our Prime Minister except when Labour are in power. Then only Labour party members elect a PM.  Conservative PMs are elected by the Party MPs. Your US elections seem to work OK except for the debacle that Trump caused.

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