Definition of first past the post in English:

first past the post

phrase

  • 1(of a contestant, especially a horse) winning a race by being the first to reach the finishing line.

    ‘Aliysa was first past the post in the 1989 Oaks’
    • ‘Local Claremorris man Finbar Donnellan also had a share in a horse that was first past the post in one of Wednesday's races.’
    • ‘Boxed in on the final corner by his rivals, he had to pull out all the stops up Cheltenham's notoriously unforgiving hill to ensure that he was first past the post.’
    • ‘F1 Racing were first past the post in their game at Bay Horse Tadcaster.’
    • ‘Think Big won the big race twice and Let's Elope and Saintly were amongst two of his other special charges who were first past the post.’
    • ‘Tales abound of this man who walked 10 miles in his bare feet for cystic fibrosis in 1975 and was first past the post.’
    • ‘Esha Ness, ridden by John White and trained by Jenny Pitman, was the first past the post but the race was later declared void.’
    • ‘Kieran was first past the post in the 1500 metres on the Saturday, turning in an excellent time of 5.58.’
    • ‘If he is first past the post then the victory will put a very serious dent in the profits on bookmakers operating in Ireland.’
    • ‘It was not always the favourites that came first past the post, which all added to the excitement.’
    • ‘After two very promising performances it should be only a matter of time before Maryann The Dancer is first past the post.’
    1. 1.1British attributive Denoting an electoral system in which a candidate or party is selected by achievement of a simple majority.
      ‘our first-past-the-post electoral system’
      • ‘The first past the post system always unfairly rewards the largest parties, but the results become particularly arbitrary when their share of the vote is relatively small.’
      • ‘These are, of course, first past the post elections, and therefore difficult for us to make a mark on.’
      • ‘It returns Italy, after 12 years of flirtation with first past the post, to a proportional system.’
      • ‘We proved under the first past the post system in Preston that we can win.’
      • ‘The first past the post system won't deliver that.’
      • ‘But - and it's a very big ‘but’ - under first past the post, the power of government goes to the party of the plurality, to the largest minority.’
      • ‘We totally accept that no first past the post system is infallible.’
      • ‘Its genuinely difficult to figure out the Indian voter, and more importantly the first past the post system can make a few percentage difference in vote share seem like a land slide.’
      • ‘Britain uses the first past the post formula and the candidate receiving the most votes is elected, regardless of whether or not he has a majority of votes cast.’
      • ‘Secondly, making an electoral breakthrough in a first past the post electoral system remains tough.’

Pronunciation

first past the post

/fəːst pɑːst ðə ˈpəʊst/