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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 October 2021

India: Two‐Party Contests within a Multiparty System

India: Two‐Party Contests within a Multiparty System

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

Anthony Heath (Contributor Webpage)

Siana Glouharova

Oliver Heath (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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