First Past the Post electoral system

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A first-past-the-post (FPTP; sometimes FPP)[1] electoral system is one in which voters indicate on a ballot the candidate of their choice, and the candidate who receives the most votes wins. This is sometimes described as winner takes all. First-past-the-post voting is a plurality voting method. FPTP is a common, but not universal, feature of electoral systems with single-member electoral divisions, and is practised in close to one third of countries. Notable examples include the United States, the United Kingdom, as well as some of the latter's former colonies and protectorates, such as Canada or India.

Fist-past-the-post is often referred to as winner-take-all, plurality voting, relative majority, and choose-one voting. In political science, it is known as Single-Member Plurality or SMP.

The term "first past the post" refers to a now seldom-used analogy with horse racing, where the winner is the first to pass a particular point (in this case a plurality of votes), upon which all other runners automatically and completely lose ("winner take all").

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  1. The Department of Internal Affairs, Government of New Zealand. "More about FPP". dia.govt.nz. Retrieved 2019-02-17.