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In the experience of the UK since 1997, PR systems have produced more proportional results than FPTP. STV (in Northern Ireland) has been the most proportional, followed by the Party List system and AMS. However, while recent General elections under FPTP have produced less proportional results, this has not always been the case. For example, outcomes were more proportional in the 1950s when the two main parties received the vast majority of votes cast. Since the 1970s the number of two-party contests in constituencies has declined sharply. Other factors (other than the voting system) that impact on disproportionality are district magnitude and patterns of voter behaviour. While there is a consensus about the factors contributing to proportionality and disproportionality, there are different interpretations about which contributing factors are problematic (e.g. district magnitude or the voting system?) Some argue that the disproportionality of FPTP is unfair to small parties, in particular for the Liberal Democrats, and call for a change in the voting system. Others argue that the disproportionality is a result of changing patterns of voter support, turn-out and constituency size, with the voting system not being the sole cause of disproportionality per se. These various factors have a significant impact on understanding proportionality, and need to be taken into account in debates about disproportionality in recent UK General elections.

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