First Past the Post (FPTP)

What is the First Past the Post voting system?


First Past the Post (FPTP) is British Columbia’s current voting system. In FPTP the province is divided into electoral districts and each district is represented by one Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA). Voters mark their ballot for one candidate. The candidate with the most votes in the district wins and represents the district in the legislature.

First Past the Post

A sample FPTP ballot.

The number of seats a party gets in the legislature equals the number of districts its candidates win. This system tends to elect candidates from large parties and result in single-party majority governments.

FPTP is used in a number of countries at the national or sub-national level, including Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

Characteristics of First Past the Post (FPTP)


Voting Voters vote for one candidate on the ballot
Counting The candidate with the most votes in the district wins and represents the district in the legislature
Results The number of seats a party wins in the legislature equals the number of districts the party’s candidates win in the province
Representation
  • 87 MLAs in the province
  • British Columbians have one MLA that represents their district
Electoral districts Same size as currently