Spain: Proportional Representation with Majoritarian Outcomes

Jonathan Hopkin

in The Politics of Electoral Systems

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199257560
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603280 | DOI:
Spain: Proportional Representation with Majoritarian Outcomes

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Spain has a PR system that has not been particularly proportional. The main reason is that its 50 historic provinces (dating from 1833) were chosen as the electoral districts, and these provinces took no account of subsequent demographic changes. Thus, many of Spain’s districts are too small to achieve even reasonable proportionality, and the system as a whole is very malapportioned. Voters choose a party and not a candidate. The electoral rules have contributed to the success of non-statewide parties, but made life very difficult for small- and medium-sized statewide parties.

Keywords: closed-list PR; malapportionment; fragmentation; non-statewide parties

Chapter.  8539 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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