Advanced Search
 
Party List PR
There are two different types of Party List-PR, Closed List and Open List.
Party List PR

How does Party List-PR work?

There are two different types of Party List-PR, Closed List and Open List.

In both cases parties present lists of candidates and seats are awarded according to their party’s share of the vote. This is usually done using an electoral formula or a quota which prevents too many small parties from winning seats.
Where is Party List PR used?

• British elections to the European Parliament (excluding Northern Ireland)
• Israel's Parliament, the Knesset.
• The Netherlands' Second Chamber.


Open List: Voters choose individual candidates from the list provided by each party and individual candidates are elected according to the popular vote.

Closed List: Voters vote for the party and therefore the list as a whole. Candidates are elected in the order they appear on the list (as decided by the party) until all the seats have been filled.

Semi-open lists: This gives voters some influence over who is elected, but most of the candidates will be elected in list order.

Pros and cons of Party List PR

The case for

The arguments against

Party-list systems guarantee a high degree of party proportionality.

Closed party lists are completely impersonal, weakening any link between the representative and a regional area.

Every vote has equal value.

Closed party lists offer very little in the way of voter choice: all the power, save that of choosing a party for government, resides with the party leaders.

It couldn't be simpler: voters have to make one choice out of a small selection.

As candidates are selected by the party leaders, they are likely to put 'safe' candidates near the top of the list, at the expense of traditionally under-represented groups.

List systems tend to involve large multi-member constituencies, which give more opportunities for women and minority groups to gain representation.

Also with Closed party lists parties can stifle independent and minority opinion within their ranks. As all the power over who gets seats lies with the party machine, so too does the power to voice opinions.

Open lists offer voters more choice and control over who is elected

Part lists discriminate against those not willing to be part of the party structure, and it is impossible to stand as an independent candidate

Closed lists are more amenable to measures that can increase the representation of women, such as gender quotas.

Highly proportional systems with minimal thresholds can result in a fragmented parliament, and produce unstable, multi-party governments.


Other voting systems by type

Proportional Representation
Party List PR
Single Transferable Vote

Mixed Systems 
Additional Member System
Alternative Vote Plus

Majoritarian Systems
Alternative Vote
Block Vote
Borda Count
First Past The Post
Limited Vote
Supplementary Vote
Two-Round System

Recent News
27th February 2015
David Cameron and Nick Clegg were in Wales this morning, announcing further powers to be devolved to the Assembly.   The UK Government is proposing to devolve control over elections to the National Assembly which would see AMs handed power to:   Change the voting system for Assembly and local elections Introduce votes at 16 for Assembly […]
25th February 2015
The ERS has long campaigned for devolution to the local level, but the Society also campaigns for proportional representation at a local level. Here ERS Deputy Chief Executive Darren Hughes outlines why they should go hand in hand.   Sign our petition for a fairer local voting system   The decision by the government to […]
23rd February 2015
Today saw the broadcasters agree – by lot – who would host each of the three upcoming televised General Election debates. It’s a welcome development in what has been a fairly chaotic few months for them, as they seek agreement on who will be on the platform, when to host them, who will moderate them, […]