When is proportional not proportional? Great Britain's 2009 elections to the European Parliament

Iain McLean*, Ron Johnston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

British elections to the European Parliament use a regional list system, selected to meet the European Union requirement that all countries use proportional representation to elect their MEPs. Within each of the British 11 regions, seats are allocated to parties using the d'Hondt (or Jefferson) system rather than the Sainte-Laguë (or Webster), although the latter produces more proportional outcomes because the former is biased against smaller parties. Analysis of the 2009 European election in Great Britain shows that if Sainte-Laguë had been used rather than d'Hondt six of the 69 seats would have been differently allocated. The main beneficiary would have been the Green Party, with seven MEPs rather than two.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)349-355
Number of pages7
JournalRepresentation
Volume45
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2009

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