is an electoral system
in which each voter is allowed to vote for only one candidate, and the candidate who polls the most among their counterparts (a plurality
) is elected. In a system based on single-member districts
, it may be called first-past-the-post
(FPTP), single-choice voting
, simple plurality
or relative/simple majority
. In a system based on multi-member districts, it may be referred to as winner-takes-all
or bloc voting
. The system is often used to elect members of a legislative assembly or executive officers. It is the most common form of the system, and is used in most elections in the United States, the lower house (Lok Sabha
) in India, elections to the House of Commons
and English local elections in the United Kingdom (although in the UK proportional or preferential voting is now used for elections to the Scottish and European Parliaments, Welsh, N Irish and London Assemblies, for mayors and Scottish and N Irish and some Welsh local elections) and Canada.
Plurality voting is distinguished from a majoritarian electoral system, in which, to win, a candidate must receive an absolute majority
of votes, i.e., more votes than all other candidates combined. Both systems may use single-member
or multi-member constituencies. In the latter case it may be referred to as an exhaustive counting system: one member is elected at a time and the process repeated until the number of vacancies is filled. Read more...