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Linking Citizens and PartiesHow Electoral Systems Matter for Political Representation$
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Lawrence Ezrow

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572526

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572526.001.0001

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Electoral Rules, the Number of Parties, and Niche Party Success

Electoral Rules, the Number of Parties, and Niche Party Success

(p.67) 4 Electoral Rules, the Number of Parties, and Niche Party Success
Linking Citizens and Parties

Lawrence Ezrow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter reports an association between the electoral rules that have been adopted in a political system and niche party electoral competitiveness. The competitiveness of niche parties is defined by the number of viable niche competitors in a particular country and/or their combined vote share. In a manner similar to Lijphart (1999), scattergrams are presented that depict a relationship between electoral rules, the effective number of parties, and levels of niche party competition in twenty‐seven Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. The chapter reports an association between proportional electoral systems and niche party competitiveness.

Keywords:   electoral rules, effective number of parties, niche, niche party competitiveness, Duverger, Lijphart, scattergrams

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