(CNN) -- British voters roundly rejected a proposal that would have changed the way they elect lawmakers, results showed Friday.
Though counting continued, "no" votes far outpaced "yes" votes -- 68% versus 32% -- with more than 99% of areas declared.
Britons voted Thursday on whether to change the system used to elect MPs to the House of Commons.
Under the current system, known as "first past the post," voters choose one candidate. The candidate with the most votes wins.
Under the proposed system, known as the "alternative vote (AV)," voters would have ranked candidates in order of their preferences. Second and third votes of the lowest-ranked candidates would have been distributed to the higher-ranked candidates until one person had more than half the votes and was declared the winner.
The AV system was supported by the Liberal Democrats, the junior partner in the coalition government with the Conservative Party, which did not back the reform. Its defeat will likely put pressure on that coalition as the Liberal Dems had demanded the referendum as a condition for joining the government a year ago.
"We've obviously campaigned very hard for the yes vote. Clearly it wasn't a photo-finish. And in a democracy when you ask people a question and get an answer, you accept what they say and you move on," said Lib Dems spokeswoman Lena Pietsch.
Her party had argued that AV would have led to a more representative government.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, a Conservative, had campaigned vigorously against AV, calling it unfair and expensive.
After the vote, he told the BBC: "It was always going to be a difficult moment for a coalition when you have two parties in a coalition campaigning on different sides of a referendum. But we've had that debate and in the end, the British public are the boss and they have given an absolutely clear and resounding answer."
"I believe what the British people want us to do now is provide a good, strong, decisive government in the long term national interest of this country," he told the British broadcaster.
CNN's Jack Maddox contributed to this report.