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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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Spain: Proportional Representation with Majoritarian Outcomes

Spain: Proportional Representation with Majoritarian Outcomes

Chapter:
(p.375) 18 Spain: Proportional Representation with Majoritarian Outcomes
Source:
The Politics of Electoral Systems
Author(s):

Jonathan Hopkin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199257566.003.0018

Spain has a PR system that has not been particularly proportional. The main reason is that its 50 historic provinces (dating from 1833) were chosen as the electoral districts, and these provinces took no account of subsequent demographic changes. Thus, many of Spain’s districts are too small to achieve even reasonable proportionality, and the system as a whole is very malapportioned. Voters choose a party and not a candidate. The electoral rules have contributed to the success of non-statewide parties, but made life very difficult for small- and medium-sized statewide parties.

Keywords:   closed-list PR, malapportionment, fragmentation, non-statewide parties

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