Voting in legislative elections under plurality rule
Title: Voting in legislative elections under plurality rule
Author: HUGHES, Niall
Citation: Journal of economic theory, 2016, Vol. 166, pp. 51-93
Models of single district plurality elections show that with three parties anything can happen – extreme policies can win regardless of voter preferences. I show that when single district elections are used to fill a legislature, we get back to a world where the median voter matters. An extreme policy will generally only come about if it is preferred to a more moderate policy by the median voter in a majority of districts. The mere existence of a centrist party can lead to moderate outcomes even if the party itself wins few seats. I also show that, while some voters in a district will not vote for their nationally preferred party, in many equilibria they will want the candidate for whom they vote to win that district. This is never the case in single district elections. There, some voters always want the candidate they voted for to lose.
Received 30 June 2015, Revised 15 August 2016, Accepted 17 August 2016, Available online 24 August 2016
Initial version: http://hdl.handle.net/1814/29608
Version: Article is based on a chapter (1) of the author's EUI PhD thesis, 2013
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