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SPP 319

Title: THE MIXED MEMBER ELECTORAL SYSTEM IN RUSSIA
 
Author: Ian McAllister and Stephen White
 
Description: The Russian system for elections to the State Duma was introduced in 1993. Half of the 450 seats are allocated to single member constituencies and half to national party lists, with no correction for the allocation of votes in the other half. In 1995 there were 43 competing parties or movements, three times as many as in 1993; a higher proportion of candidates in the single member constituencies (59.8 per cent) were also party supported, although none of the parties contested all of the seats available. The outcome was a considerable increase in disproportionality, reflecting the fact that all but four of the parties fell below the 5 per cent threshold, and a system that had been designed to advantage pro-reform candidates ended up overrepresenting their opponents. At the same time there was a fall in the effective number of parties, and there was increasing support for parties as compared with independent candidates.

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