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
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.) Queensland
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.)