The United Kingdom: Plurality Rule Under Siege

Paul Mitchell

in The Politics of Electoral Systems

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199257560
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603280 | DOI:
The United Kingdom: Plurality Rule Under Siege

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‘Times they are a-changing . . .’ is at the source of the Westminster model. Or are they? Electoral reformers are still trying to replace Britain’s single-member plurality electoral system with some form of PR, as they have been for 150 years. The system has maintained the parliamentary dominance of two parties, but elections have become increasingly multi-party and disproportional since 1974. However, at sub-state, local, and European elections, Britain has become a very active laboratory for electoral system design and implementation.

Keywords: single-member plurality; partisan electoral bias; disproportionality; electoral deserts; electoral reform

Chapter.  13748 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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