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The Politics of Electoral Systems$
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Michael Gallagher and Paul Mitchell

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199257560

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0199257566.001.0001

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India: Two‐Party Contests within a Multiparty System

India: Two‐Party Contests within a Multiparty System

Chapter:
(p.137) 7 India: Two‐Party Contests within a Multiparty System
Source:
The Politics of Electoral Systems
Author(s):

Anthony Heath (Contributor Webpage)

Siana Glouharova

Oliver Heath (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199257566.003.0007

India is the world’s biggest, and in many respects, most remarkable democracy. Despite vast social and linguistic diversity, its political system has been surprisingly stable and effective. India has a Westminster type parliamentary system with single member plurality elections. In a seemingly major challenge to Duverger’s laws, India has developed a large multiparty system despite its SMP electoral system. Part of the answer is that the extreme multi-party system in the all-India parliament masks the nature of party competition in the electoral districts. Electoral competition can be thought of as a series of different regional level two-party contests.

Keywords:   single-member plurality, reserved constituencies, multiparty system, coalition building, Duverger’s law

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