Plurality (voting)

A plurality vote (in North America) or relative majority (in the United Kingdom)[1] describes the circumstance when a candidate or proposition polls more votes than any other, but does not receive a majority.[2] For example, if 100 votes were cast, including 45 for Candidate A, 30 for Candidate B and 25 for Candidate C, then Candidate A received a plurality of votes but not a majority. In some votes, the winning candidate or proposition may have only a plurality, depending on the rules of the organization holding the vote.[3]

Versus majority

In international institutional law, a "simple majority" (also a "majority") vote is more than half of the votes cast (disregarding abstentions) among alternatives; a "qualified majority" (also a "supermajority") is a number of votes above a specified percentage (e.g. two-thirds); a "relative majority" (also a "plurality") is the number of votes obtained that is greater than any other option; and an "absolute majority" is a number of votes "greater than the number of votes that possibly can be obtained at the same time for any other solution",[note 1] when voting for multiple alternatives at a time.[4][note 2]

Henry Watson Fowler suggests that the American terms "plurality" and "majority" offer single-word alternatives for the corresponding two-word terms in British English, "relative majority" and "absolute majority", and that in British English "majority" is sometimes understood to mean "receiving the most votes" and can therefore be confused with "plurality".[1][note 3] William Poundstone observes that systems which allow choosing by a plurality of votes are more vulnerable to the spoiler effect—where two or more similar choices each draw fewer votes than a dissimilar choice that would have lost to any individual similar choice on its own—than systems which require a majority.[5]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ For example, 50 voters elect six office holders from a field of 11 candidates, thereby casting 300 votes. The largest absolute majority in this scenario would be 50 voters casting all their ballots for the same six candidates, which at 300 votes would be substantially higher than the simple majority of 151 votes—a result that no individual candidate can achieve, since the most votes any one can receive is 50. With the smallest absolute majority in this scenario, the six winners would receive 28 votes each, totaling 168, and the runners-up would receive either 27 or 26 votes each.
  2. ^ An "absolute majority" can also mean a "majority of the entire membership", a voting basis that requires that more than half of all the members of a body (including those absent and those present but not voting) to vote in favour of a proposition in order for it to be passed.
  3. ^ "With three-cornered contests as common as they now are, we may have occasion to find a convenient single word for what we used to call an absolute majority... In America the word majority itself has that meaning while a poll greater than that of any other candidate, but less than half the votes cast is called a plurality. It might be useful to borrow this distinction..." —Henry Watson Fowler

References

  1. ^ a b Fowler, Henry Watson (1965). A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (2 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 725. ISBN 0199535345.
  2. ^ "plurality". Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 2015-12-29. a number of votes that is more than the number of votes for any other candidate or party but that is not more than half of the total number of votes
  3. ^ Robert, Henry M. III; Honemann, Daniel H.; Balch, Thomas J. (2011). Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (11 ed.). Da Capo Press. pp. 404–405. ISBN 9780306820212.
  4. ^ Schermers, Henry G.; Blokker, Niels M. (2011). International Institutional Law: Unity Within Diversity (5 ed.). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 9004187987.
  5. ^ Poundstone, William (2009). Gaming the Vote: Why Elections Aren't Fair (and What We Can Do About It). New York: Macmillan. p. 352. ISBN 9781429957649.
1902 Victorian state election

The 1902 Victorian State election was held in the Australian state of Victoria on 1 October 1902 to elect 70 of the 95 members of the Victorian Legislative Assembly. The other 25 seats were uncontested.There was manhood suffrage in single and multimember districts (with multiple voting), and using first past the post (plurality) voting.William Irvine replaced Alexander Peacock as Victorian Premier on 10 June 1902, and contested the election as the incumbent premier and leader of the Australian Reform Party. Irving soundly defeated the Liberals and their Labor allies at the 1902 election. The Labor Party did not have a parliamentary leader until 1904.

1911 Victorian state election

The 1911 Victorian state election was held in the Australian state of Victoria on Thursday, 16 November 1911 to elect 56 of the 65 members of the state's Legislative Assembly. Nine seats were uncontested.

The election was in one member districts, using first past the post (plurality) voting. Women voted for the first time at this election.

Anti-plurality voting

Anti-plurality voting describes an electoral system in which each voter votes against a single candidate, and the candidate with the fewest votes against wins. Anti-plurality voting is an example of a positional voting method.

Condorcet loser criterion

In single-winner voting system theory, the Condorcet loser criterion (CLC) is a measure for differentiating voting systems. It implies the majority loser criterion.

A voting system complying with the Condorcet loser criterion will never allow a Condorcet loser to win. A Condorcet loser is a candidate who can be defeated in a head-to-head competition against each other candidate. (Not all elections will have a Condorcet loser since it is possible for three or more candidates to be mutually defeatable in different head-to-head competitions.)

A slightly weaker (easier to pass) version is the majority Condorcet loser criterion (MCLC), which requires that a candidate who can be defeated by a majority in a head-to-head competition against each other candidate, lose. It is possible for a system, such as Majority Judgment, which allows voters not to state a preference between two candidates, to pass the MCLC but not the CLC.Compliant methods include: two-round system, instant-runoff voting (AV), contingent vote, borda count, Schulze method, ranked pairs, and Kemeny-Young method.

Noncompliant methods include: plurality voting, supplementary voting, Sri Lankan contingent voting, approval voting, range voting, Bucklin voting and minimax Condorcet.

House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The House of Assembly of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is the unicameral legislature of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

The House has a total of 23 members. 15 represent single member constituencies and are elected using plurality voting, also known as "first past the post". Six are known as Senators, and are appointed by the Governor-General. Four senators are appointed to represent the government and two to represent the opposition. The remaining two are the attorney-general, who is appointed, and the speaker, who is elected by the government members of the House, in consultation with the Opposition.The most recent elections to the House of Assembly were held on 13 December 2010. The incumbent Unity Labour Party (ULP) was returned to office winning eight out of 15 seats. The New Democratic Party (NDP) won the remaining seven seats.

Leduc-Beaumont

Leduc-Beaumont is a provincial electoral district in central Alberta, Canada. The district was created in the 2010 boundary redistribution and is mandated to return a single member to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta using the plurality voting system.

Minority governments in Canada

In Canada's parliamentary system of responsible government, minority governments occur when no party has a majority of seats in the legislature. Typically, but not necessarily, the party with a plurality of seats forms the government. In a minority situation, governments must rely on the support of other parties to stay in power, providing less stability than a majority government. In Canada, political parties rarely form official coalition governments to form a majority.

Canada's plurality voting system means that minority governments are relatively rare in comparison with countries that have a proportional representation voting system. There have, however, been several minority governments at the federal level and in nine of Canada's 10 provinces at various times.

Municipalities of Jalisco

Jalisco is a state in West Mexico that is divided into 125 municipalities.Municipalities in Jalisco are administratively autonomous of the state according to the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Every three years, citizens elect a municipal president (Spanish: presidente municipal) by a plurality voting system who heads a concurrently elected municipal council (ayuntamiento) responsible for providing all the public services for their constituents. The municipal council consists of a variable number of trustees and councillors (regidores y síndicos). Municipalities are responsible for public services (such as water and sewerage), street lighting, public safety, traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses and the maintenance of public parks, gardens and cemeteries. They may also assist the state and federal governments in education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. Since 1984, they have had the power to collect property taxes and user fees, although more funds are obtained from the state and federal governments than from their own income.

Municipalities of Michoacán

Michoacán is a state in West Mexico that is divided into 113 municipalities.

Municipalities in Michoacan are administratively autonomous of the state according to the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Every three years, citizens elect a municipal president (Spanish: presidente municipal) by a plurality voting system who heads a concurrently elected municipal council (ayuntamiento) responsible for providing all the public services for their constituents. The municipal council consists of a variable number of trustees and councillors (regidores y síndicos). Municipalities are responsible for public services (such as water and sewerage), street lighting, public safety, traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses and the maintenance of public parks, gardens and cemeteries. They may also assist the state and federal governments in education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. Since 1984, they have had the power to collect property taxes and user fees, although more funds are obtained from the state and federal governments than from their own income.

Municipalities of Nayarit

Nayarit is a state in West Mexico that is divided into twenty municipalities.Municipalities in Nayarit are administratively autonomous of the state according to the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Every three years, citizens elect a municipal president (Spanish: presidente municipal) by a plurality voting system who heads a concurrently elected municipal council (ayuntamiento) responsible for providing all the public services for their constituents. The municipal council consists of a variable number of trustees and councillors (regidores y síndicos). Municipalities are responsible for public services (such as water and sewerage), street lighting, public safety, traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses and the maintenance of public parks, gardens and cemeteries. They may also assist the state and federal governments in education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. Since 1984, they have had the power to collect property taxes and user fees, although more funds are obtained from the state and federal governments than from their own income.

Municipalities of Sinaloa

Sinaloa is a state in Northwest Mexico that is divided into 18 municipalities.Municipalities in Sinaloa are administratively autonomous of the state according to the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Every three years, citizens elect a municipal president (Spanish: presidente municipal) by a plurality voting system who heads a concurrently elected municipal council (ayuntamiento) responsible for providing all the public services for their constituents. The municipal council consists of a variable number of trustees and councillors (regidores y síndicos). Municipalities are responsible for public services (such as water and sewerage), street lighting, public safety, traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses and the maintenance of public parks, gardens and cemeteries. They may also assist the state and federal governments in education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. Since 1984, they have had the power to collect property taxes and user fees, although more funds are obtained from the state and federal governments than from their own income.

Municipalities of Tamaulipas

Tamaulipas is a state in Northeast Mexico that is divided into 43 municipalities.Municipalities in Tamaulipas are administratively autonomous of the state according to the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Every three years, citizens elect a municipal president (Spanish: presidente municipal) by a plurality voting system who heads a concurrently elected municipal council (ayuntamiento) responsible for providing all the public services for their constituents. The municipal council consists of a variable number of trustees and councillors (regidores y síndicos). Municipalities are responsible for public services (such as water and sewerage), street lighting, public safety, traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses and the maintenance of public parks, gardens and cemeteries. They may also assist the state and federal governments in education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. Since 1984, they have had the power to collect property taxes and user fees, although more funds are obtained from the state and federal governments than from their own income.

Municipalities of Tlaxcala

Tlaxcala is a state in East Mexico that is divided into 60 municipalities.Municipalities in Tlaxcala are administratively autonomous of the state according to the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Every three years, citizens elect a municipal president (Spanish: presidente municipal) by a plurality voting system who heads a concurrently elected municipal council (ayuntamiento) responsible for providing all the public services for their constituents. The municipal council consists of a variable number of trustees and councillors (regidores y síndicos). Municipalities are responsible for public services (such as water and sewerage), street lighting, public safety, traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses and the maintenance of public parks, gardens and cemeteries. They may also assist the state and federal governments in education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. Since 1984, they have had the power to collect property taxes and user fees, although more funds are obtained from the state and federal governments than from their own income.

Municipalities of Veracruz

Veracruz is a state in East Mexico that is divided into 212 municipalities.Municipalities in Veracruz are administratively autonomous of the state according to the 115th article of the 1917 Constitution of Mexico. Every three years, citizens elect a municipal president (Spanish: presidente municipal) by a plurality voting system who heads a concurrently elected municipal council (ayuntamiento) responsible for providing all the public services for their constituents. The municipal council consists of a variable number of trustees and councillors (regidores y síndicos). Municipalities are responsible for public services (such as water and sewerage), street lighting, public safety, traffic, supervision of slaughterhouses and the maintenance of public parks, gardens and cemeteries. They may also assist the state and federal governments in education, emergency fire and medical services, environmental protection and maintenance of monuments and historical landmarks. Since 1984, they have had the power to collect property taxes and user fees, although more funds are obtained from the state and federal governments than from their own income.

Overvote

An overvote occurs when one votes for more than the maximum number of selections allowed in a contest. The result is a spoiled vote which is not included in the final tally.

One example of an overvote would be voting for two candidates in a single race with the instruction "Vote for not more than one." Robert's Rules of Order notes that such votes are illegal.Undervotes combined with overvotes (known as residual votes) can be an academic indicator in evaluating the accuracy of a voting system when recording voter intent.While an overvote in a plurality voting system or limited voting is always illegal, in certain other electoral methods including approval voting, this style of voting is valid, and thus invalid overvotes are not possible.In the corporate world, the term "overvote" describes a situation in which someone votes more proxies than they are authorized to, or for more shares than they hold of record.

Plurality

Plurality may refer to:

Plurality (church governance), a type of Christian church polity in which decisions are made by a committee

Plurality (company), an Israeli semiconductor company

Plurality (voting), the most votes for any choice in an election, but not necessarily a majority

Plurality voting system, system in which each voter votes for one candidate and the candidate with a plurality is elected

Plurality-at-large voting or block voting, system for electing several representatives from a single electoral district

Plurality opinion, in a decision by a multi-member court, an opinion held by more judges than any other but not by an overall majority

Plural, a linguistic form commonly used to denote two or more of something

One of the "twelve pure concepts of the understanding" proposed by Kant in his Critique of Pure Reason

The holding of more than one benefice

Plurality voting

Plurality voting is an electoral system in which each voter is allowed to vote for only one candidate, and the candidate who polls the most among their counterparts (a plurality) is elected. In a system based on single-member districts, it may be called first-past-the-post (FPTP), single-choice voting, simple plurality or relative/simple majority. In a system based on multi-member districts, it may be referred to as winner-takes-all or bloc voting. The system is often used to elect members of a legislative assembly or executive officers. It is the most common form of the system, and is used in most elections in the United States, the lower house (Lok Sabha) in India, elections to the House of Commons and English local elections in the United Kingdom (although in the UK proportional or preferential voting is now used for elections to the Scottish and European Parliaments, Welsh, N Irish and London Assemblies, for mayors and Scottish and N Irish and some Welsh local elections) and Canada.

Plurality voting is distinguished from a majoritarian electoral system, in which, to win, a candidate must receive an absolute majority of votes, i.e., more votes than all other candidates combined. Both systems may use single-member or multi-member constituencies. In the latter case it may be referred to as an exhaustive counting system: one member is elected at a time and the process repeated until the number of vacancies is filled.

In some jurisdictions, including France and some of the United States including Louisiana and Georgia, a "two-ballot" or "runoff election" plurality system is used. This may require two rounds of voting. If on the first round no candidate receives over 50% of the votes, then a second round takes place, with just the two highest-voted candidates in the first round. This ensures that the winner gains a majority of votes in the second round. Alternatively, all candidates above a certain threshold in the first round may compete in the second round. If there are more than two candidates standing, then a plurality vote may decide the result.

In political science, the use of plurality voting with multiple, single-winner constituencies to elect a multi-member body is often referred to as single-member district plurality or SMDP. This combination is also variously referred to as winner-takes-all to contrast it with proportional representation systems. This term is sometimes also used to refer to elections for multiple winners in a particular constituency using bloc voting.

Reversal symmetry

Reversal symmetry is a voting system criterion which requires that if candidate A is the unique winner, and each voter's individual preferences are inverted, then A must not be elected. Methods that satisfy reversal symmetry include Borda count, the Kemeny-Young method, and the Schulze method. Methods that fail include Bucklin voting, instant-runoff voting and Condorcet methods that fail the Condorcet loser criterion such as Minimax.

For cardinal voting systems which can be meaningfully reversed, approval voting and range voting satisfy the criterion.

Vote splitting

Vote splitting is an electoral effect in which the distribution of votes among multiple similar candidates reduces the chance of winning for any of the similar candidates, and increases the chance of winning for a dissimilar candidate.

Vote splitting most easily occurs in plurality voting (also called first-past-the-post) in which each voter indicates a single choice and the candidate with the most votes wins, even if the winner does not have majority support. For example, if candidate A1 receives 30% of the votes, similar candidate A2 receives another 30% of the votes, and dissimilar candidate B receives the remaining 40% of the votes, plurality voting declares candidate B as the winner, even though 60% of the voters prefer either candidate A1 or A2.

Cardinal voting methods are immune to vote splitting, since each candidate is rated independently of each other. Pairwise-counting Condorcet methods minimize vote splitting effects. Plurality-runoff voting methods (like Exhaustive ballot, Two-round system/Top-two primary, Instant-runoff voting, Supplementary vote, and Contingent vote) still suffer from vote-splitting in each round, but can somewhat reduce its effects compared to single-round plurality voting.A well-known effect of vote splitting is the spoiler effect, in which a popular candidate loses an election by a small margin because a less-popular similar candidate attracts votes away from the popular candidate, allowing a dissimilar candidate to win. As a result, the notion of vote splitting is controversial because it can discourage third party candidates.

Strategic nomination takes advantage of vote splitting to defeat a popular candidate by supporting another similar candidate.

Vote splitting is one possible cause for an electoral system failing the independence of clones or independence of irrelevant alternatives fairness criteria.

Types of majority
Single member
Multi-member (election threshold)

Languages

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