Tag Archives: strategic voting

Strategic Voting-U.S. and Abroad

In most of the United States, the general election (at every level) is mostly a two-party race.  In 2014, there were thirty-four races in which the winning candidate got less than 50%.  In only two of these races did the winning candidate get beneath 45%.  In only 11 of these races did the loser get below 45%.    In ten of these races, it is probable that the minor part candidates may have altered the winner of the race.  Given the rareness of such races, strategic voting is normally not viewed as  a significant issue in the general election in the U.S., but it is a significant issue in the primary and in elections in other countries.

Starting with other countries, the two countries with the most similar election system to the U.S. are the United Kingdom and Canada.  Both use a first-past-the-post system for parliamentary elections, just like most states use for Congressional and Senate elections.  The difference is that — unlike the U.S. — Canada and the U.K. have, at least, three major parties and some parties with regional strength.

In the last U.K. election, the Conservatives won 330 seats out of 650 seats to get a majority.  Out of the 650 seats, the winning candidate got less than 45% in 68 seats, and failed to get a majority in 97 seats.  The Conservatives won 40 of those seats.

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