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date: 27 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The Republic of Ireland is unusual in using the single transferable vote to elect its national parliament. The system allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference, and those lower preferences are used to allocate seats when a count of first preferences shows that candidates have no overall majority or, in multiseat elections, do not reach a set quota. The party system showed little fragmentation until recently, and proportionality has been only a little less than in many proportional representation systems. The public twice rejected moves to change the system and continues to express satisfaction with the control it appears to give them over their representatives, despite the criticisms expressed by many politicians and commentators.

Keywords: electoral system, single transferable vote, Ireland, proportionality, electoral behavior, candidate selection, fragmentation, nomination strategies, partisanship

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