Saturday, October 27, 2012


Revised: 21 March 2013

In the 2010 Australian federal election* there was no clear result at the end of vote counting despite the ALP winning the two party preferred (2PP) vote.  In the end, an ALP minority government was formed after post election negotiations with the Greens and independents.  The LNP could have quite easily ended up as the government despite losing the 2PP vote.
By contrast, in the 2012 Queensland state election, the LNP gained a very clear majority of seats after clearly winning the 2PP vote.  The problem here was that the ALP won only 8 % of the seats (7 members) despite having 27% of the primary vote.  As a result, the ALP is struggling to hold the government to account let alone provide a credible alternative at the next election. Not a good outcome for the state.  (The LNP won 88% of the parliamentary seats despite winning less than 50% of the primary vote.)

The common link between both these problems is that single member electorates were used to decide who will become members of parliament.  The above are not the only problems associated with single member electorates.

In this article it is argued that a specific system based on two member electorates would overcome the problems that are a feature of systems based on single member electorates.

(*Definitions of the terms used here are included at the end of the article.)