Votes required for majority, UK election.?

I'm working on an essay about UK Politics. And I'm currently writing about the election that just took place. My question is, How many votes (in percent) is required to gain the majority of the election and thereby get the prime minister seat?Thanks

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4 Answers to “Votes required for majority, UK election.?”

  1. flowable says:

    Over 50%

  2. doodler says:

    I’ll explain in detail as the British system is very different from the American one and there isn’t a simple answer. For one thing, the Prime Minister isn’t elected. Who becomes Prime Minister depends on the result of the election for the House of Commons, and it’s actually an appointment by the Queen, not an elected post, though the system doesn’t “work” if the Prime Minister can’t lead a stable government – so she always appoints who is most likely to do that.You can’t express it as a percentage. The election that took place was for the House of Commons in Parliament, and that has 650 MPs. In each of the 650 constituencies, whichever candidate gets most votes is elected to be MP, and if there are a lot of candidates, the percentage of votes that the winner gets can be a low one. Click here [external link] … and you see the full results from 6 May 2010. If you click on the map, you can zoom in to a particular constituency and find out the detailed result. The party leaders are also candidates and there is always the possibility they could lose in their own constituency. Unless you actually hit on one of their constituencies you won’t see any of their names.A bit of geography fun for you if you feel like it – on that map, click on England, then on the South East, and try and find Witney – in Oxfordshire to the west of London. That’s David Cameron’s seat so you’ll see his result there, but you won’t see his name if you click on anywhere else. You’ll also see quite a few joke candidates there too who think it’s fun to run against a potential Prime Minister, including the leader of the Monster Raving Loonies!This election system is the same as the one for Congress – one candidate from each party in each electoral district and whoever gets most votes wins.Having elected the House of Commons, who is going to be the government? Most times this is easy – one party wins more than half of the 650 seats, and they can outvote the rest any time they want and get their policies voted in. So the Queen appoints the leader of the winning party to be Prime Minister.If that doesn’t happen, like it did this time, then the parties have some thinking and talking to do. No party can be the government and sure of getting done what it wants to do. If they’re not too short of the magic 326 seats (1 more than half of 650) they could try and go it alone, but it might all grind to a halt after not very long. The largest party could come to an agreement with another party that the other party will always support them – this is how Canada is governed at the moment. Or they could try and buddy up with another party and work out what they can do together by actually combining to form a joint government, called a coalition. This might involve both of them dropping things they want to do, but at least they can get SOMETHING done. This time round, Labour and the Liberal Democrats together still wouldn’t have the magic 326, and Labour weren’t really interested in talking anyway, but the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats together have 363. They engaged in talks for a few days and hammered an agreement out to form a coalition government with David Cameron as Prime Minister. They told the Queen that and she appointed Cameron to be Prime Minister.

  3. hiraiwa says:

    The absolute minimum required would be 326 votes. That would be where one person voted in each of 326 constituencies, and nobody voted in the other 324 constituencies.

  4. Pteroclidae says:

    It isn’t based upon the number or percentage of votes – it’s based upon the number of parliamentary seats won by each political party.There are 650 seats in the House of Commons, and so 326 seats are required for a majority.You might find this site useful. Our system is “First-Past-The-Post”. [external link]