Local electoral systems

Authored by: Michael Cole

The Routledge Handbook of International Local Government

Print publication date:  September  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138234727
eBook ISBN: 9781315306278
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter discusses the various electoral systems used for local contests throughout the world. It identities four central themes through which those systems can be discussed: proportionality; divisional magnitude; intra-party choice; and the means of electing an individual with personal executive authority, often a mayor. These factors are then related to discussion about the operation and application of several types of system – the single transferable vote (STV); party lists; the additional member system (AMS); first past the post (FPTP); the block vote (MNTV); the single non-transferable vote (SNTV); the alternative vote (AV); the supplementary vote (SV); and the second ballot. The analysis is illustrated with examples from a range of countries.

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