Voters have been squeezed into two camps – but there are bigger factors at play

The results of last weeks general election might look at first glance like the return of a two-party system. It follows two elections in 2010 and 2015 that did not provide the decisive majority that is supposed to be the hallmark of First Past the Post. But the ‘two party’ narrative conceals as much as it reveals. The Assembly election earlier this year demonstrated the diversity of views held by voters in Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin’s surge notwithstanding. That diversity … Read more

Westminster’s voting system turns elections into a tactical guessing game

As voters go to the polls, we can be sure that tactical voting has the potential to play a decisive role in who gets elected. Recent research commissioned by the Electoral Reform Society in Britain suggests that one in five electors there will vote for a candidate or party best positioned to keep out someone they disliked. This is also a familiar feature of Northern Irish political life, with the truth being that in First Past the Post elections people … Read more