Country notes

Summary of main institutional rules and respective changes, data and news sources, references, coding comments, open questions and remaining tasks.

Electoral system information from CLEA country descriptions (Appendix I), ESCE country summaries, IPU-PARLINE electoral system summary, Mackie and Rose (1991), Rokkan and Meyriat (1969)

Cabinet information in Müller and Strøm (2000) and Bergman ea. (2019), see also ERDDA.se data.

Country information about democratisation from Boix ea. (2013).

Abbreviations — proportional representation (PR), single transferable vote (STV)

Additional sourcesV-Dem and PIPE data – female suffrage (🔗)

Note: This is an evolving and incomplete documentation of country specific information.


Australia

Information

  • federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • head of state is the monarch of UK
  • independence in 1901
  • full male suffrage by 1900, female suffrage in 1902
  • alternative vote (AV) introduced in 1918

Data sources online

News in English

References

  • Colin Hughes, und Bruce Desmond Graham. 1968. A handbook of Australian government and politics, 1890-1964. Canberra: Australian National University Press.
  • Hughes, Colin. 1977. A handbook of Australian government and politics, 1965-1974. Canberra: Australian National University Press.
  • ———. 1986. A handbook of Australian government and politics, 1975-1984. Sydney, New York: Australian National University Press.
  • ———. 2002. A handbook of Australian government and politics, 1985-1999. Annandale N.S.W.: Federation Press.

Coding comments

  • Barber (2008) distinguishes the number of eligible voters between 'enrolled' and 'enrolled divisions'. Enrolled figures represent the total number of eligible voters, while enrolled division figures include only eligible voters in contested districts. The distinction applies to elections between 1901 and 1943.

Todo later

  • coding of the special district Northern territory (see Barber 2008)

Austria

Information

  • federal parliamentary republic

Data sources online

News in English

Open questions

  • number of votes for VGO in 1983 election differ between BMI and statistical yearbook
  • date of acceptance for the resignation of Figl III cabinet needed
  • formal resignation dates for cabinets after 1996 needed, not covered by Müller/Strom 2000

Belgium

Information

  • federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • full male suffrage in 1893 election, female suffrage in 1948
  • PR (D’Hondt) in 1900

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • due to plural voting, the number of total votes is higher than the number of electorate in elections from 1904 to 1914
  • data in IBZ and Nohlen/Stöver is not consistent

Open questions

  • seat distribution of parties in electoral alliances
    • FDF-PPW alliance in 1991 election
    • PRL/FDF alliance in 1995 election
      • seat distribution
      • informaton about PPW (Pari pour la Wallonie)
    • SPA/Spirit in 2003 election
    • CD&V/N-VA in 2007 election

Bulgaria

Information

  • unitary parliamentary republic

Data sources online

News in English

Open questions

  • coding of BSP coalitions – national and EP
    • seat distribution of Democratic Left (1997) and Coalition for Bulgaria (2001, 2005, 2009)
      • esp. seat share of BSP after 2005 election
    • BSP not running as coalition in 2019 EP election?
  • missing cyrillic party names
  • "electorate" 2009 EP election

Todo later

  • double check Blue Coalition EP Elections 2009

Canada

Information

  • federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • head of state is the monarch of UK
  • full male suffrage by 1900 and female suffrage in 1918

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • the data sources on election results before (and after) 1945 are often incosistent

Switzerland

Information

  • federal semi-direct democracy under multi-party parliamentary directorial republic
  • full male suffrage in 1848 and female suffrage in 1971
  • two round majority-plurality SMD in 1900
  • PR (Hagenbach-Bischoff) in 1919

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • number of votes based on adjusted votes ('fiktive Stimmen') calculated by Statistical Office of Switzerland
  • cabinets are coded for each legislative term
    • no prime minister position is attached to a party – one year Bundespräsident is primus inter pares
    • 'starting_date' is the election of the Bundesrat

Open questions

  • more information and independent verification about PSU needed

Todo later

  • add French names to all parties
  • add largest party no seats for elections before 1967 (source needed)

Cyprus

Information

  • only presidential system in ParlGov

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • Cyprus has a presidential form of government. Therefore, cabinet start dates may not coincide with election dates. Presidential cabinets are coded according to ParlGov coding rules.

Open questions

  • election 2001: official sources needed — votes from Parline do not add up

Todo later

  • add primary sources for Wikipedia based coding (national elections: votes for parties with no seats)

Czech Republic

Information

  • Unitary parliamentary republic

Data sources online

News in English

Open questions

  • When crossed members of the rebel faction from ODS to US/DEU? – January 1998
  • seat distribution LSU alliance 1992

Germany

Information

  • federal parliamentary republic

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • Elections since 1945
    • only PR votes provided (no SMD votes from first tier)
    • before 1990 we don't include the MPs from Berlin (only procedural voting rights)
    • CDU and CSU recorded as alliance with individual results for election data and as CDU/CSU party group for cabinet data
  • Elections 1919 to 1933
    • some parties win additional seats in a national district (upper tier)
    • upper tier votes are not included
    • see details in Wahlen in Deutschland
  • confidence votes 1919 to 1933 not coded in ParlGov
    • data recorded in "Formative Stages of German Politics. The Contested Rise of Parliamentary Democracy, 1867-1967" by Philip Manow and Valentin Schröder
  • successor parties from Weimar Republic (1933) to Federal Republic (1945) mainly based on personal continuity of MPs

References

  • Stöss, R., 1986. Parteien-Handbuch: Die Parteien der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 1945-1980, Sonderausgabe, Opladen: Westdeutsche Verlag. [core reference on post-war German parties]
  • Lenski, S.-C., 2011. Parteiengesetz und Recht der Kandidatenaufstellung Handkommentar, Baden-Baden: Nomos-Verl.-Ges. [party law]

Denmark

Information

  • unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
  • full male suffrage in 1849 election, female suffrage in 1915
  • plurality SMD in 1894
  • cabinet responsibility in 1901
  • PR (D’Hondt) in 1918

Data sources online

News in English

References

  • Elklit, J., 2002. The politics of electoral system development and change: The Danish case. In The evolution of electoral and party systems in the Nordic countries. New York: Agathon Press, pp. 15-66. [evolution electoral system]

Coding comments

  • 'Grønland og Færøerne' coded as one party to include results of regional parties from Greenland and Faroer Island
    • we add all parties which won at least one seat in Greenland or Faroer
    • we only code the seats of the affected parties
  • coding of election results 1901 and 1903 based on Mackie and Rose (1991) due to missing data in Nohlen and Stöver (2010)

Todo later

  • add election results for Greenland and Faroe Islands – currently coded as one party
  • add causes of government termination and minority support parties from Damgaard (1994)

Spain

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • official results include blank votes into valid votes ('Votos Válidos') – ParlGov 'votes_valid' are based on 'Votos a Candidaturas'
  • regional parties which are affiliated with national parties such as the Catalan branch of the PSOE are not coded separately as an individual party in elections
  • (most) regional parties and green parties in ParlGov not coded as alliance members in EP elections

Open questions

  • more detailed information about types of support for minority cabinets
  • information about parliamentary boycott of HB (esp. 1989 election and Gonzalez cabinet)

Todo later

  • harmonize and define coding electoral alliances

Estonia

Data sources online

News in English

Open questions

  • seats EKK alliance members 1995
  • founding of Parempoolsed in 1992 parliament
    • How many members defected?
    • When did the split happen?
  • Eestimaa Rahvalliit – Eesti Maarahva Erakond
    • Coding as one or two parties?

References

Todo later

  • coding of alliance members (eg. RKI 1992)

Finland

Information

  • independence in 1917
  • universal suffrage in 1906
  • PR (D’Hondt) in 1906, 200 seats, single-chamber [no fundamental changes]

Data sources online

News in English

References

  • Sundberg, J., 2002. The electoral system of Finland: old, and working well. In The evolution of electoral and party systems in the Nordic countries. New York: Agathon Press, p. 67–100. [electoral system evolution]
  • Törnudd, K., 1968. The electoral system of Finland, London: Evelyn. [electoral system evolution]

Coding comments

Open questions

  • number of SD-o MPs supporting Sukselainen II cabinet

Todo later

  • code registration and dissolution of parties since 1969
  • Swedish party names for all parties (if appropriate)

France

Information

  • full male suffrage in 1848 and female suffrage in 1944 (Mackie and Rose 1991, 131-33)
  • two round majority-plurality SMD and PR periods
    • 1889 SMD, 1919 mixed member system, 1928 SMD, 1945 PR, 1958 SMD, 1986 PR, 1988 SMD
  • parliamentary system in 1870 and president elected by both chambers; semi-presidential system in 1958

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • "'Comparativly, France has the most poorly documented electoral statistics.' This statement of Daniele Caramani (2000) must be underlined for various reasons. (...)" (Nohlen 2010, 670). Hence, our coding may include inconsistencies and would profit from feedback by country experts.
  • Mackie/Rose election data exclude Algeria and the overseas territories and departments
  • Paloheimo (1984) cabinet parties that could not be identified: Gauche Democrats, Movement of Democrats, Payson
  • seat strength for some cabinet parties before 1945 unknown – eg. Painleve 1925

Open questions

  • How many votes won the Southern League in the legislative election 2012?
  • for pre 1945 Wikipedia list several additional cabinets (no PM or party change), more information needed

Todo later

  • double check and update cabinet coding with ERDDA update Müller/Strom (release in 2021)
  • coding composition of parliamentary groups (see Mackie and Rose 1991, 133)

United Kingdom

Information

  • universal suffrage in 1918

Coding comments

  • no statistics about number of invalid votes existing until 1964 (see Thrasher/Rallings 2009)

Data sources online

References

  • Barberis, Peter. 2005. Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations: Parties, Groups and Movements of the 20th Century. New York; London: Continuum.
  • Butler, D., 2010. British Political Facts 10th ed., Palgrave Macmillan.
    • core reference on governments, ministers, parties and MPs
  • Thrasher, M. & Rallings, C., 2009. British Electoral Facts, Total Politics.
    • an updated version of F.W.S. Craig's classical collection of election results in the UK

Todo later

  • 2011 coding – to be checked and updated
  • source to validate number of votes cast ('votes_cast') – data until 1959 needed
  • 'votes_total' needed for 2015 and some earlier elections

Greece

Data sources online

News in English

Open questions

  • latin name for Muslim list
  • What is an "Alternative Minister"?
  • specification of causes for formation and termination of caretaker governments (Grivas, Zolotas I, Zolotas II)

Todo later

  • unify transliteration of greek party names
  • coding of alliance members for Coalition of the Radical Left in election results
  • add alliance members for 2004 and 2007 election — latter needs information about seats distribution

Croatia

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • official election results are not aggregated at the national level
  • voting results for 10 MMC districts recorded
  • votes cast on alliance level as votes cast for each alliance member do not add up to total votes cast for an alliance

Open questions

  • status and seat strength of parliamentary groups (esp. for electoral alliances)
  • seats LIBRA and DC after formation through split (relevant for cabinets)
  • 2000 election: 3 no-party seats from ethnic minority district?
  • 2007 election: results also recorded for 10 MMC districts only?

Todo later

  • data sources are incomplete and inconsistent to meet ParlGov coding rules
    • aggregated number of votes for national, abroad and minority district needed
    • information about all parties with more than 1.0% vote share needed
    • primary sources about electoral alliances and members needed

Hungary

Data sources online

Coding comments

  • 'votes' and 'vote_share' coding based on list votes in territorial constituencies

Ireland

Information

  • independence in 1922
  • STV-PR in 1922

Data sources online

News in English

References

  • Barberis, Peter. 2005. Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations: Parties, Groups and Movements of the 20th Century. New York; London: Continuum.
  • Gallagher, Michael. 1993. Irish Elections 1922-44: Results and Analysis. Limerick: PSAI Press.
  • Gallagher, Michael. 2009. Irish Elections 1948-77: Results and Analysis. Routledge.

Coding comments

  • Outgoing chairperson of the lower house is automatically re-elected. Seat is added to the respective party ('data_json' keys: 'seats_uncontested', 'outgoing_chairperson').
  • due to the STV-PR it is not possible to specify a certain number of absolute votes per party
  • when coding the absolute votes per party we count the number of first preferences, which is common practice

Iceland

Information

  • home rule in 1904; sovereignty in 1918; republic in 1944
  • universal suffrage in 1915 election
  • presidential election since 1944

Data sources online

News in English

References

  • Jónsson, Guðmundur and Magnús S. Magnússon, eds. 1997. Hagskinna: Sögulegar Hagtölur Um Ísland — Icelandic Historical Statistics. First Edition. Reykjavík: Hagstofa Íslands. [election results 1874 to 1991]
  • Hardarson, Ólafur Th. 2002. ‘The Icelandic Electoral System 1844-1999’. Pp. 101–66 in The evolution of electoral and party systems in the Nordic countries. New York: Agathon Press. [evolution electoral system]

Coding comments

  • transcriptions Icelandic letters into ascii: 'th' for 'þ', 'd' for 'ð', 'ae' for 'æ'

Israel

Information

  • cabinet status of ministers (cf. Kenig 2014, 181)
    • cabinet ministers – are members of cabinet meetings with voting right in the cabinet plenum. This includes ministers without portfolio.
    • deputy ministers – do not attend cabinet meetings and do not have voting rights. This applies also in [rare] cases of deputy ministers in a government ministry without a minister "above" them.
    • Source: Ofer Kenig, Ashkelon College; personal communication, 28 March 2020
  • direct election of prime minister between 1996 and 2003

Data sources online

Coding comments

  • ministers without portfolio coded as cabinet parties and deputy ministers as cabinet support parties (see above)
    • thanks to Or Tuttnauer for support in 2020
  • cabinets continuing in office (no resignation or lost confidence vote) after an early dissolution of parliament are coded as "continuation caretaker cabinet" (e.g. Netanyahu 2014)
  • cabinet support parties coded for deputy ministers and Arab satellite lists
  • all changes in parliament included based on Knesset information
  • seats for alliance members of United Torah Judaism to be included with a 'data_json' key if available
  • minor differences in the composition of party lists (esp. electoral alliances)
    • not coded as "party change" for consecutive elections
    • changes of the name and composition are mainly recorded the the "description"

Italy

Data sources online

News in English:

Coding comments

  • Non-partisan prime ministers coded PC to avoid false matches with election results.
  • Parliamentary seats for foreign Italians and the seat of Aosta Valley are determined separately. They are added to the "normal" Italian results

Open questions

  • coding of The Coalition electoral alliance

Japan

Data sources online

News in English:

Open questions

  • largest party that won no seats missing for most elections
  • double check of party families by country expert
  • change of party affiliations after 1972 election
  • alternative source number of votes and valid votes for 1952 election. inconsistency in Mackie/Rose

Todo later

  • update seat composition of parliament at formation of cabinets with EJPR data
  • description and final coding of cabinet formation and termination 1958 until today
  • add 'seats_smd' to 'data_json'

Lithuania

Information

  • PM and cabinet must each pass an investiture vote (article 92 constitution; Matonyte 2019, 309-10).
  • Government returns its power after presidential elections (article 92 constitution; Matonyte 2019, 309).

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • cabinet start date coded for PM investiture vote (incomplete, see below)
  • new cabinet coded for resignation and investiture after presidential elections
  • public election committees (visuomeninis rinkimų komitetas)
    • A legal form to run in an election used since 2015 as an alternative to parties
    • We add a prefix to name ("VRK –"), name short ("K-") and english name ("PEC --") (e.g. K-AMT 2019)
    • We also add 'data_json' entries '{"party_type": "election_committee", "new_party": false}'

Open questions

  • cabinet investiture votes not documented adequately with media reports
  • party family (ideological classification) of public election committees
  • seats for Lithuanian Liberal Union and The New Union differ between vrk and Wikipedia/Essex
  • coding of 1990 elections 96 Sajudis candidates
  • seat strength of Sajudzio koalicija in first four cabinets and status of PM

Todo later

  • cabinets
    • complete and harmonise coding all PM and cabinet investiture votes
    • consistent coding of cabinet start dates for investiture vote of PM
    • coding of acting prime ministers (see Conrad/Golder 2010, 142)
  • add 'seats_smd' to 'data_json'

Luxembourg

Information

  • full male suffrage in 1893 election, female suffrage in 1918

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • turnout and electorate (registered votes) numbers not available for 1922-1945 (Nohlen 2010, 1245)
  • multiple votes per voter, 'data_json' keys: 'multiple_votes' and 'votes_total'
  • party names are coded in Luxembourgish with a few historical exceptions in French
    • French and German party names are coded in 'data_json'

Latvia

Data sources online

News in English:

Open questions

  • double check coding of electoral alliances, especially whether Harmony Center is a party or an electoral alliance
  • seat strength of parties in electoral alliances
  • party family for MPA-LNP

Todo later

  • add alliance members for EP elections
  • double check electorate and and total votes for EP 2009 election

Malta

Information

  • self-government in 1947, UK rule in 1958, independence in 1964
  • STV-PR in 1921

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments:

  • due to STV-PR it is not possible to specify absolute votes per party
  • when coding the absolute votes per party we count the number of first preferences
  • see bonus seats in 1987 election

Netherlands

Information

  • full male suffrage in 1917 and female suffrage in 1919
    • 1970: compulsory voting abolished
  • two round majority-plurality SMD in 1896
  • PR (Hare) in 1918

Data sources online

News in English

Open questions

  • Drees I — VVD defector party?

Norway

Information (Rokkan and Meyriat 1969, 262)

  • full male suffrage in 1900 and female suffrage in 1907 (1913)
  • indirect elections in 1815
  • two round majority-plurality SMD in 1906
  • PR (D’Hondt) in 1921

Data sources online

News in English

References

  • Svasand, L., 1985. Politiske partier, Oslo: Tiden Norsk Forlag. [parties]
  • Nordby, T., 1985. Storting og regjering 1945–1985: Institusjoner, rekruttering, Oslo: Kunnskapsforlaget. [cabinets]
  • Aardal, B., 2002. Electoral Systems in Norway. In The evolution of electoral and party systems in the Nordic countries. New York: Agathon Press, pp. 167–224. [evolution electoral system]

Todo later

  • code results for joint lists
  • update pre-1973 election data with results from official election reports
  • code all cabinet appointment and resignation dates from regjeringen.no

New Zealand

Information

  • self-government (dominion) in 1907
  • full male suffrage in 1879 and female suffrage in 1893
  • plurality SMD in 1853 (majority-plurality SMD in 1908 and 1911)
  • mixed member PR in 1994

Data sources online

News in English

Coding comments

  • cabinet under same PM after elections starts when the cabinet is sworn in; legally no new cabinet (eg. Key II)
  • data sources on election results before 1945 are inconsistent; Vowles provides the most extensive information
  • for elections before 1945 electorate shows the number of registered voters in European constituencies; there was no electoral register in the four Maori constituencies

Poland

Data sources online

  • PKW — National Electoral Commission

News in English:

References

  • Paszkiewicz, K., 2004. Partie i koalicje polityczne III Rzeczypospolitej 3rd ed., Wroclaw: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wroclawskiego. [party almanac]

Coding comments

  • Müller-Rommel ea. (2004) and Conrad/Golder (2010) code the 28/29 April 1993 as the begin of Suchocka II goverment, but it failed a confidence vote on 28 May 1993.

Open questions

  • seats of 'Democratic Left Alliance' and 'Labor Union' in parliament after [2001 election]
  • SDLP 2005 election — Zieloni and UP on SDLP list or an alliance
  • should Pawlak I government be kept? — needs more explicit cabinet definition
  • exact date of PPPP split into PPG and MP unknown
  • party name change — UW to PD: exact day/month of the change?

Todo later

  • double-check and revise party coding (esp. successor/predecessor) with Paszkiewicz (2004)
  • re-coding of 1989 election
  • coding of SLD alliance members for elections
  • coding of changes in composition of parliament as documented in EJPR Political Data Yearbook

Portugal

Data sources online

News in English

Open questions

  • Should 1975 assembly election and succeeding cabinets be excluded?
  • How long was ID party member of CDU alliance since 1987 election?
  • double checking of 1980 election – PSD and PS alliance and district seats
  • Who and from which party was the third successful candidate in the CDU alliance in the EP election in 1987?
  • Should BE election results be coded as electoral alliance with separate observations for alliance members?

Todo later

  • find primary sources for members of electoral alliances (currently Mackie/Rose (1991) and Wikipedia)

Romania

Information

  • district-ordered list system in 2008 and 2012 election
  • party-list PR since 2016
    • multi-seat districts (M=7)
    • 5% threshold for parties and 8 to 10% for electoral alliances

Data sources online

News in English

Todo later


Slovakia

Data sources online

News in English

Open questions

  • Party of the Hungarian Coalition (MK)
    • seats distribution and parliamentary party group status in 1990
    • parliamentary party group status in 1990
  • exact seat strength of split parties in Moravcik cabinet
  • parliamentary status of Simko SDKU splinter group

Slovenia

Data sources online

News in English

Todo later

  • consistent coding of cabinet start dates for investiture vote of PM or cabinet (see Krašovec/Krpič 2019, 482–83)
  • number of votes and total votes for Italian and Hungarian national community seats

Sweden

Information

  • full male suffrage in 1909 and female suffrage in 1922
  • PR (D’Hondt) in 1909, 230 seats
    • 1952: Saint-Laguë; 1969: unicameral, 350 seats, upper tier, 4.0% threshold
  • cabinet investiture: no absolute majority against cabinet (negative parliamentarism)

Data sources online

News in English

References

  • Esaiasson, Peter. 1990. Svenska Valkampanjer 1866-1988. Stockholm: Allmänna förlaget.

Open questions

  • should the 1970 election be considered an 'early' election?
  • parties supporting minority governments and type of support
  • party change after elections of 1964 & 1968
    • what was the exact date of change or the date of opening session of the parliamentary term?

Turkey

Information

  • presidential system since 2018

Data sources online

News in English

Todo later

  • decision about future inclusion after change to a presidential system in 2018