Proportional Representation

What is Proportional Representation (PR)?
A definition of PR

Proportional Representation

Proportional representation is a type of electoral system that decides the make-up of a parliament by allocating seats on the basis of the number of votes each party received. Although there are many different types of PR, this is the base requirement for a system to be described as proportional.

Rather than the winner-take all approach of other systems, PR ensures that votes carry equal weight. To do this, multi-member constituencies are used. This means that a single area elects more than one representative. The size of this area can vary according to the system, ranging from the size of the whole country to a county or local vicinity.

Different PR systems have different ways of electing candidates. With some it is possible to vote only for a party, with others directly for candidates.

You can read more about some of the myths surrounding Proportional Representation on our blog.

Voting Systems

Proportional Representation Mixed Systems Majoritarian Systems
More representative as seats are distributed according to vote share. Combines the features of majoritarian-style systems and Proportional Representation. Systems that are highly disproportional.
Single Transferable Vote Additional Member System First Past the Post
Party List PR Alternative Vote Plus Alternative Vote
    Borda Count
    Block Vote
    Limited Vote
    Supplementary Vote
    Two-Round System

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