Angola 2022: What (effective) seat product and impact on the outcome?

Earlier this week, in trying to understand the Angolan electoral system, I was unsure whether the allocation of the national list seats was compensatory, or in parallel to the provincial district results. In the comments, Miguel was kind enough to quote the relevant sections of the electoral law, confirming that allocation is parallel. The results […]

If the USA had direct plurality election of the president, what effect on the party system?

I know the 2020 election result–assuming the Senate majority remains Republican*–has ended any chance of serious electoral reform passing for the foreseeable future. But what if the National Popular Vote (NPV) compact were enacted? If there were no other reforms, the compact would result in the US President being elected by direct nationwide plurality. Given […]

How far off the seat-vote equation was the UK 2010 result?

How under-represented was the Conservative Party on 6 May? Oh sure, I know that the party was over-represented, relative to its vote share. But that’s what FPTP is supposed to do. In fact, it is supposed to do so sufficiently to give a “decisive” result. At least that’s what David Cameron said throughout the campaign […]

Academic pubs

Matthew S. Shugart is Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science, University of California, Davis.​This page lists my publications–scroll down. For a recent copy of my CV, click HERE.Click HERE for my official (but not always up-to-date) UC Davis page. Follow me on Twitter or on my Facebook Author page. If you are looking for the Fruits & Votes blog, click the […]

The effects (or their lack) of fused presidential–assembly ballots

A question that has arisen* is whether fused ballots–a single vote electing president and assembly, i.e., with no opportunity for ticket-splitting–suppress the number of parties, particularly when the president is elected by plurality and assembly by PR. A challenge in addressing this question is that fused ballots are rather rare. Moreover, they may be adopted/abolished […]

Costa Rica 2022: Continued high fragmentation

Costa Rica recently (6 Feb.) held its presidential and national assembly elections. In the case of the presidency, it was the first round; a runoff will be needed (3 April), as no candidate came close to the 40% required for a first-round victory. The result shows a continuation of the impressive degree of fragmentation that […]

Israel government update and the likelihood of a 2021b election

It has been some time since I did an update on the election and government-formation process in Israel, 2021 (or, as I called it, 2021a, giving away my expectation that a 2021b was likely). The election was on 23 March, and as all readers likely know, it was the fourth election since an early call […]

Poor recall

It is now all but certain that there will be a recall election later in 2021 against California Governor Gavin Newsom. I oppose recall elections in principle, but this one is especially silly and likely counterproductive for its own promoters. Recall elections only exacerbate the worst features of the presidential (including gubernatorial) form of government, […]

US House size increase: Inherently valuable?

We have frequently discussed here the question of the size of the US House. As regular readers will know, the House is undersized, relative to the cube root law, under which an assembly is expected to be approximately the cube root of the population. The law is both theoretical (grounded in a logical model) and […]

In Memory of Gerhard Loewenberg

The following is the text of a memorial lecture I gave for Dr. Gerhard Loewenberg on the occasion of his first yarzheit. I delivered it remotely on behalf of Beth Israel Congregation in Ann Arbor; I explain how it came about in the lecture itself. The following text includes some paragraphs that I had to […]

Does the electoral system affect polling errors, and what about presidentialism?

I will attempt to answer the questions in the title through an examination of the dataset that accompanies Jennings and Wlezien (2018), Election polling errors across time and space. The main purpose of the article is to investigate the question as to whether polls have become less reliable over time. One of their key findings […]

The Fatah “over-nomination” thesis, reconsidered

Did Fatah over-nominate, and thereby cost themselves a majority in the Palestinian Legislative Council election of 2006? I have previously cast doubt on such claims, because Fatah had no more candidates in any district than the number of seats being elected. My understanding of over-nomination in a system where voters have M votes (M being […]

The Palestinian 2006 election revisited

I wrote about the 2006 election for the Palestinian Legislative Council quite a lot at the time. For instance, as exit poll results were coming in, I warned not to believe their reported lead for Fatah, and indeed they quickly proved inaccurate. Once the results were in, I noted that the magnitude of the Hamas […]

Turkey’s electoral system and its effect on the number and size of parties

This question that James raised in the comments to the previous planting on Turkey is a good one: how “friendly” or not is Turkey’s threshold to small parties, relative to a first-past-the-post (or plurality) system in single-seat districts? The question can be addressed using Rein Taagepera’s “seat product.” If all the mathematics that follow are […]

Tail and dog in PR systems

13 August: Additions near the end on parliamentarism and the Virginia Plan. 15 August: More discussion at the OTB post by Joyner that is grafted at the bottom of this planting (and in his comment thread). At the propagation bench to yesterday’s “blogiversary” planting on two-party politics in the USA, James Joyner (whose Outside the […]