Chapter

France: Stacking the Deck

Robert Elgie

in The Politics of Electoral Systems

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199257560
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603280 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199257566.003.0006
France: Stacking the Deck

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France has experienced considerable electoral system change, often for partisan motives, but has invariably returned to the two-round system (also known as the double ballot system) in single-member constituencies. This electoral system is one of the factors responsible for France’s current party system, which for most of the past fifty years has been characterised by centripetal left-right competition, with a wide range of parties, most of which are part of loose alliances. Far-right and Communist parties are highly under-represented in parliament under the two-round electoral system, and overall disproportionality is high. The Fifth Republic has seen the emergence of majoritarianism.

Keywords: French politics; two-round system; double ballot system; disproportionality; party system

Chapter.  8757 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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