The Pyrennean microstate of Andorra held a parliamentary election in March.
The principality’s General Council consists of 28 members elected by a majoritarian mixed-member system (MMM): half is elected proportionally from national party lists (largest remainders; the threshold is one Hare quota – 7.15%) and the other half, in parallel, by list plurality (party with most votes takes all seats) – 2 from each of the country’s seven parishes, with quite a bit of malapportionment.
The results were as follows:
|Votes (%)||Seats||Votes (%)||Seats|
|Democrats for Andorra||39.4 (38.6)||10||37.0 (36.3)||5||15|
|Liberal Party of Andorra||27.5 (26.1)||4||27.7 (26.7)||4||8|
|PS+VERDS+IC+I||23.6 (24.0)||0||23.5 (24.6)||3||3|
|Social Democracy and Progress||9.5 (11.3)||0||11.7 (12.5)||2||2|
- The figures in brackets exclude votes from the two parishes where one or more parties did not put forward a slate of candidates.
- The Democrats and Liberals were allied with various local parties and independents in most parishes.
Curiously, though the tiers are clearly separate, the parties’ vote shares in the different tiers were almost identical (a total of 4.9% when adding up the differences, 4.7% when disregarding votes from districts with incomplete nominations). The same pattern largely holds across districts, and can be observed in previous election results. The only times there has been a significant difference between vote shares in the two tiers occured when certain parties did not nominate in a district.In the districts, the Democrats and Liberals were allied with different parties and independents.
These results run counter to the expectation of strategic voting in the district tier, where the smaller parties had little chance of winning seats. Such strategic voting (in one tier) is common in mixed-member systems. If we can call the pattern in Andorra’s results cross-tier contamination, it would seem to run from the list tier to the district tier rather than the other way. However, this may not the best way to look at it.
Maybe the lack of polls in this small country left voters with too little information to vote strategically? But they could still have learnt about the different parties’ chances from previous elections (of course, strategic voting elsewhere predates the proliferation of public opinion polls anyway). Andorran parties certainly seem to have nominated more strategically in the past, most notably in the previous election (2011) when only two parties competed in each district; this was more rare this time, but alliances between parties remain common.
It may not be of any great significance, but I think it’s a fascinating anomaly.