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Duverger’s Law on Elections

A theory proposed by French sociologist and jurist Maurice Duverger, which has since become known as Duverger’s law, provides an explanation for why single-member district plurality electoral systems (i.e., electoral systems where the candidate with the most votes, not necessarily a majority, is the one person elected in the district) generally feature two-party competition. Such is the case whether featuring strictly two parties or competition revolving predominantly around two major parties. This is complemented by Duverger’s hypothesis, which holds that multiparty systems may form in electoral systems electing more than one person per district or using different electoral formulae. Because evidence supporting Duverger’s argument, historically, has been so commonplace, it has taken on law-like status. Duverger’s law is important to understanding elections and election outcomes ...

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