first past the post

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Related to First-past-the-post: proportional representation

first past the post

1. noun The first person to reach a particular goal. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I'm so proud of my daughter—she was first past the post in this morning's race.
2. adjective Describing a system of voting in which the candidate with the most votes wins. In this usage, the phrase is typically hyphenated. Primarily heard in UK. You didn't have the most votes, so, in this first-past-the-post system, you don't win the seat.
See also: first, past, post

first past the post

If someone is first past the post in a race or competitive situation, they finish first or achieve something first. Note: The following expressions refer to the finishing post in a horse race. First past the post was Kenyan athlete John Mutai, who beat Irishman Jerry Healy by just 20 seconds.
See also: first, past, post

first past the post

1 (of a contestant, especially a horse, in a race) winning a race by being the first to reach the finishing line. 2 denoting an electoral system whereby a candidate or party is selected by achievement of a simple majority. British
See also: first, past, post
References in periodicals archive ?
I wanted the Assembly to be an inclusive institution and that meant that it could not be a Mid Glamorgan County Council on stilts with a permanent Labour majority, which it would have been if all AMs were elected by first-past-the-post.
Based on the result of the last general election in 2011, it is estimated that the ruling party would have obtained around 380 deputies instead of 327, if the first-past-the-post system had been in effect at the last general elections.
But if voters choose to retain the existing first-past-the-post system then PR is off the agenda for a generation.
Conservative councillors have submitted a motion urging people to back first-past-the-post.
The only way Gordon Brown's going to stay in power is if the Government is no longer elected on a first-past-the-post system, which is why he's now looking at a method called the third-past-thepost system.
VOTING: Westminster's first-past-the-post system can see parties having a disproportionate number of MPs compared to votes received.
Candidates selected by Nepal's political parties to contest 240 first-past-the-post seats in a Constituent Assembly to be elected April 10 are filing candidacies Monday despite obstruction by agitating ethnic parties.
While Labour lost seats, they still got far more than any other party and, as MPs are elected on a first-past-the-post basis, then similar voting patterns at a General Election would produce a Labour MP.
IT IS clear that our present first-past-the-post voting system isn't working.
In their case political awareness was soon converted into parliamentary representation, because the first-past-the-post system, too often simplistically described as 'bad for small parties', is not an insuperable obstacle for those with a geographically concentrated vote, as the nationalist vote is likely to be.
BLUE Square, the internet and telephone-betting business, belatedly launch their racecourse operations at Cheltenham today where, in a bid to get noticed in the betting ring, the company will be paying first-past-the-post from the outset, writes Graham Green.
Our current first-past-the-post system routinely distorts what voters are saying, produces phony majority governments, forces many to engage in strategic voting, and has driven down voter turnout to the lowest level in our history.
75% of the parliamentary seats in Italy are attributed on a first-past-the-post system.
The first-past-the-post system has become meaningless - where's the "democracy" when a party with support of only 25 per cent of the electorate can win by a landslide?
Another complaint is that the first-past-the-post (FPTP) system is unfair to smaller parties and regional groups.