Electoral systems and electoral misconduct

Birch, S. (2007) Electoral systems and electoral misconduct. Comparative Political Studies, 40(12), pp. 1533-1556. (doi: 10.1177/0010414006292886)

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Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0010414006292886


This article is a cross-national study of the impact of electoral system design on electoral misconduct. It argues that elections held in single-member districts (SMD) under plurality and majority rule are more likely to be the object of malpractice than those run under proportional representation (PR). Two reasons are advanced in support of this argument: Candidates in SMD systems have more to gain from individual efforts to manipulate elections than is the case for candidates in PR contests; and malfeasance is more efficient under SMD rules, in that the number of votes that must be altered to change the outcome is typically smaller than it is under PR. This hypothesis is tested and confirmed on a new data set of electoral manipulation in 24 postcommunist countries between 1995 and 2004. The proportion of seats elected in SMDs is found to be positively associated with levels of electoral misconduct, controlling for a variety of contextual factors.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Birch, Professor Sarah
Authors: Birch, S.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Comparative Political Studies
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1552-3829

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