List of electoral districts by nation
Electoral districts go by different names depending on the nation and the office being elected.
- 1 Australia
- 2 Botswana
- 3 Brazil
- 4 Canada
- 5 Chile
- 6 Estonia
- 7 Falkland Islands
- 8 France
- 9 Germany
- 10 Hong Kong
- 11 Iceland
- 12 India
- 13 Republic of Ireland
- 14 Italy
- 15 Kuwait
- 16 Lebanon
- 17 Liberia
- 18 Malaysia
- 19 Mexico
- 20 Namibia
- 21 New Zealand
- 22 Philippines
- 23 Portugal
- 24 Singapore
- 25 Spain
- 26 Sri Lanka
- 27 Sweden
- 28 Switzerland
- 29 Turkey
- 30 United Kingdom
- 31 United States
- 32 Others
- 33 References
Botswana has 57 parliamentary constituencies. There is one member of Parliament for each constituency.
In Brazil, seats in the lower chamber of the federal congress (Câmara dos Deputados) are split throughout the 26 States and the Federal District in a roughly proportional manner. Each federal entity has a minimum of 8 seats and a maximum of 70. The States of São Paulo and Minas Gerais have the largest number of seats. Within each federal entity, representatives are chosen by open-list proportional voting.
For the senate, each federal entity (state or federal district) has a fixed number of three senators.
In Canada, constituencies are legally known as electoral districts (in French, circonscriptions) for Members of Parliament and Members of Legislative Assemblies or Members of Provincial Parliament (Ontario) at the provincial level, although "constituency" and the informal term "riding" (or "comté" in French) are also used.
Chile's bicameral Congress consists of a Chamber of Deputies (lower house) and a Senate (upper house). The country is divided into 60 electoral districts for the lower house and 19 senatorial constituencies for the Senate. Each electoral district or senatorial constituency elects two representatives. That is, 120 deputies and 38 senators, in total. Chile is the only country in the world where both seats in two-seat electoral districts are filled in the same election.
There are 12 electoral districts (valimisringkonnad) for the parliamentary elections in Estonia. Each district elects 5 to 14 mandates to the 101-membered Riigikogu. The capital and largest city Tallinn constitutes 3 electoral districts and second largest city Tartu 1. Other districts are divided by the 15 counties. Two of the districts are shared by a group of 3 counties, 3 districts by 2 counties and 3 counties make up a separate electoral district.
All municipalities have at least one electoral district in their local elections. In the 2005, 2009 and 2013 local elections, Tallinn had 8 electoral districts, one for each administrative district of the town. In 2009 Vändra Parish, which merged to Kaisma Parish, also had 2 electoral districts. In 2005 Suure-Jaani Parish, merged by 4 different parishes, had 4 electoral districts and Türi Parish had 2 electoral districts.
Elections to the European Parliament whole country constitutes one electoral district.
The Falkland Islands are divided into two constituencies, the Camp and Stanley which return three and five members respectively to the Legislative Assembly. The Camp constituency includes any part of the Falklands which is not within the boundaries of the Stanley constituency (which are defined by a 3.5 mile radius from the cathedral spire).
A referendum had been held in 2001 in which both Camp and Stanley voters rejected a change to a single constituency.
The Constitution now specifically allows for the constituencies and their boundaries to be amended, but such an amendment must be supported in a referendum and, as a protection, there must be a two-thirds majority in each constituency.
A further referendum was held on 3 November 2011: Stanley voters narrowly supported a single constituency (but not with a two-thirds majority) and Camp voters emphatically rejected a single constituency. (Mercopress report on the 2011 referendum result)
In France, electoral constituencies are known as circonscriptions électorales.
For parliamentary elections, they are known as circonscriptions législatives, and for departmental one, France uses cantons.
In Germany, there are 299 basic electoral constituencies (called Wahlkreise), accounting for half of the 598 nominal seats in the German Bundestag in a "First Past the Post electoral system". The constituencies for the rest of the seats are the federal states, representatives being drawn from the top of their respective electoral lists. The former constituencies are divided so that each has approximately the same number of voters. German electoral law dictates that the deviation from average of all constituencies shall not exceed a certain figure. Other restrictions prevent abuses such as gerry-mandering.
Similar provisions obtain for many of the federal state parliaments, though constituencies are generally smaller and boundaries change more frequently. Representatives to the European Parliament are only elected by party proportion and state.
The unicameral Legislative Council has 60 members, 30 returned from five geographical constituencies based on the Hare quota and largest remainder method, and the remaining 30 returned through 28 functional constituencies.
In Iceland, there are 6 constituencies, which are Norðvesturkjördæmi "Northwest", Norðausturkjördæmi "Northeast", Suðvesturkjördæmi "Southwest", Suðurkjördæmi "South", Reykjavíkurkjördæmi norður "North Reykjavik", and Reykjavíkurkjördæmi suður "South Reykjavik". The Icelandic word for constituency is kjördæmi.
In India constituency is an area, where people of this notified area elect their representative either to Lok Sabha or state legislature or local governing bodies. India has multi tier democratic system . The apex legislature body of India which form part of Union government is Loksabha ( Lower house ), then there are state legislature also called legislative assembly ( Vidhan Sabha ), then Zilla Parishad, Taluk Panchayat and Grama Panchayat. Hence every area has a constituency under which it falls.
Republic of Ireland
For the election of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, since 1993 Italy is divided in 27 districts called circoscrizioni. However, the distribution of seats being calculated at national level, districts serve only to choose the single candidates inside the party lists. During the election of the Italian Senate, according to the Constitution, each Region is a single district, without connections at national level.
During the Regional elections, the districts correspond to the Provinces, even if some seats are allocated at regional level. For the Provincial elections, a special system is used, based on localized lists: even if the competition is disputed on provincial level, candidates are presented in single-member districts, and their final position inside each party list depends by the percentage of votes they received in their own districts. Finally, for the Communal elections no districts are used.
There are five electoral districts in Kuwait.
|This section requires expansion. (August 2008)|
Lebanon has multi-seat constituencies.
There are 222 parliamentary constituencies in Malaysia. The seats are indicated as P.xxx. Each constituency is represented by an elected Member of Parliament who sits at the lower house of the Parliament of Malaysia called Dewan Rakyat. With the exception of Federal Territory parliamentary seats, these constituencies are further divided into 505 state legislative assembly districts, whose representative will sit at their respective state legislative assembly. The state assembly seats are indicated as N.xx.
The Federal Electoral Districts of Mexico are the 300 constituencies or electoral districts into which Mexico is divided for the purpose of federal elections. Each district returns one Federal Deputy, who sits in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of the Federal Congress. An additional 200 deputies are elected by proportional representation.
Constituency is used as an administrative division.
New Zealand uses a proportional representation system, with a parliament nominally consisting of 120 seats. Of these, 63 are general electorate seats, with 16 of these seats being for South Island constituencies and the remainder being for the North Island. A further seven seats are specifically for the Māori population with this number determined by the size of the Māori electoral roll. While Māori may choose to be enrolled in either the electoral roll, the use of a separate Māori roll is a continuing controversy in New Zealand, with many[who?] seeing it as anachronistic and separatist.
Voters are each entitled to two votes, one for their local electorate contest, and one for the nationwide party vote. The remaining 50 seats are allocated from party lists on a proportional basis, based on the nationwide party vote tally. Occasionally, as in the 48th Parliament, this results in an "overhang" - a 121st seat being required to accommodate the correct proportion of Members of Parliament. Only parties which record either 5% of the nationwide party vote or win one or more electoral seats may be awarded list seats.
The size of New Zealand electorates is determined on a population basis such that all electorates have approximately the same population.
The Philippines has a bicameral legislature: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The senators are elected nationwide at-large as one "district," with the twelve candidates with the most votes winning the twelve seats contested every election.
In the House of Representatives, four-fifths of its members are elected via first past the post in single member districts, while the remaining one-fifth is elected via a party-list system. There are currently 234 legislative districts in the country, each electing one congressman to the House of Representatives.
From 1916 to 1935, senators were also elected via districts, with eleven districts electing two senators, while the two senators in the twelfth district were appointed by the American governor-general.
While most legislators are elected via geographical districts, they represent their constituents; party-list representatives' constituents is the sector they represent, while the senators' constituency is the entire nation.
The 22 constituencies of Portugal are named círculos eleitoriais (singular: círculo eleitoral, meaning "electoral circle"). They are used for the election of the deputies of the Portuguese unicameral national parliament, the Asembleia da República (Assembly of the Republic).
Each círculo eleitoral elects a number of deputies (from two to 47), that varies according with the number of electors of the constituency.
The area of 20 of the constituencies coincides with the first level administrative divisions of Portugal, which are the 18 districts of the mainland Portugal and the two autonomous regions of the Portuguese islands. The two remainder constituencies represent the Portuguese who live in foreign countries, existing one círculo eleitoral for Europe and other for outside Europe.
In Singapore, there are 15 group representation constituencies(GRC) and 12 single-member constituencies, giving a total of 23 constituencies. Group representation constituencies elect between four to six MPs to the Parliament of Singapore, while single member constituencies elect one. (accurate as of 2011 general elections). Both GRCs and SMCs are elected with a plurality method.
In Spain, electoral constituencies are known as circunscripciones. Under Article 68 of the Spanish constitution  the boundaries must be the same as the provinces of Spain and under Article 140 this can only be altered with the approval of Congress. Voting is on the basis of universal suffrage in a secret ballot. Article 68 also states that the number of deputies must not be less than 300 nor exceed 400, that the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla should be single member districts, that provinces should be guaranteed an initial minimum representation and that the electoral system should be proportional representation, although it does not specify a particular type.
Constituency magnitude has normally been small. Currently 27 of the 52 districts elect between three and five members. A further ten elect six or seven members. This has tended to favour the larger parties at the expense of smaller lists. Consequently it has been common for smaller parties to form ad hoc alliances with larger parties by forming joint lists. The electoral system used is closed list proportional representation with seats allocated using the D'Hondt method. Only lists which poll 3% or more of all valid votes cast, including votes "en blanco" i.e. for "none of the above" can be considered for seats. In practice the 3% threshold has usually been unnecessary as the effective representation threshold has been much higher. The sole exception was the 1993 election in Madrid where a minor party list lost a seat.
In elections to the Swedish Parliament (Riksdag), the 349 seats are divided into 310 fixed seats and 39 adjustment seats. The 310 fixed seats are distributed into 29 multi-member districts (valkretsar). These follow county borders with the exception of the three largest counties, Stockholm, Västra Götaland and Skåne, which are divided into two, five and four districts respectively. Counties are also divided into several districts for elections to the county councils, while municipalities above a certain size must be divided into several districts for the purpose of elections to the municipal assemblies.
In Switzerland, the Canton of St. Gallen uses the Wahlkreise (constituency or electoral district) in place of the previous, and more usual, district. See Canton of St. Gallen#Constituencies and municipalities.
There are 550 seats elected from 85 electoral districts in Turkey to the Grand National Assembly. The districts generally correspond to Turkey's provincial divisions with the exception of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir, which are divided into smaller districts owing to their large electorates.
Voting last took place nationally across all of the below districts on 12 June 2011.
As of 2010, there are 650 House of Commons constituencies in the UK:
- List of Parliamentary constituencies in the United Kingdom
- MPs elected in the UK general election, 2010 lists the constituencies after that election.
The Scottish Parliament has 73 single-member constituencies elected on a first past the post basis, with the remaining 56 seats in the parliament being selected by the Additional Member System (AMS). Since the passage of the Scottish Parliament (Constituencies) Act 2004, the constituencies of the Scottish Parliament are no longer identical to those of the House of Commons.
The National Assembly for Wales has 40 constituencies elected by first past the post which are identical to the Welsh constituencies of the House of Commons. Its remaining 20 seats are selected by AMS.
In the United States, electoral constituencies for the federal House of Representatives are known as congressional districts (of which there are presently 435; the number can be changed but has remained at 435 since 1912, except for a brief period from 1959-1962 when two seats were temporarily added for the then-new States of Alaska and Hawaii), while the constituencies for the variously named state legislatures go by a variety of names (and have differing numbers). Long standing practice, reinforced and modified by several U.S. Supreme Court decisions, require the equalization of populations of constituencies after each decennial census, a process known as redistricting.
When driven by partisan bodies, this process opens up the possibility of gerrymandering for political or factional advantage. Gerrymandering cannot be used to the disadvantage of any specific racial group (e.g., placing a predominantly African-American community in several districts to dilute the vote would be unconstitutional), but is perfectly legal to dilute the voting strength of the opposing party.
The lowest-level electoral districts within the U.S. are known as precincts.
Most of the rest of the Commonwealth of Nations also use constituencies as electoral divisions. For details of constituencies in these and other places see:
- Carey, John M (2009). "Ingeniería electoral: ¿qué nos muestran las investigaciones académicas sobre los efectos anticipados de las reformas electorales?" [Electoral engineering: What do academic research tell us about the anticipated effects of the electoral reforms?]. Fortalecimiento de la Democracia: Reforma del Sistema Electoral Chileno / Chapter 8 (in Spanish). p. 234. Retrieved 2011-12-25.
- Electoral Districts and Voting Districts
- See for example § 3 Abs. 1 Nr. 3 in German electoral law
- Spanish Constitution
- "Election Resources on the Internet: Elections to the Spanish Congress of Deputies". Electionresources.org. Retrieved 2009-11-28.
- "Election Resources on the Internet: Elections to the Spanish Congress of Deputies". Electionresources.org. Retrieved 2009-11-28.