Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Votes from Seats
Logical Models of Electoral Systems

$38.99 (P)

Award Winner
  • Date Published: October 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108404266

$ 38.99 (P)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Take the number of seats in a representative assembly and the number of seats in districts through which this assembly is elected. From just these two numbers, the authors of Votes from Seats show that it is possible to deduce the number of parties in the assembly and in the electorate, as well as the size of the largest party. Inside parties, the vote distributions of individual candidates likewise follow predictable patterns. Four laws of party seats and votes are constructed by logic and tested, using scientific approaches rare in social sciences. Both complex and simple electoral systems are covered, and the book offers a set of 'best practices' for electoral system design. The ability to predict so much from so little, and to apply to countries worldwide, is an advance in the systematic analysis of a core institutional feature found in any democracy, and points the way towards making social sciences more predictive.

    • Establishes four basic laws of party seats and votes
    • Interconnects electoral, party and presidential systems in a quantitative way
    • Constructs simple quantitatively predictive logical models of the type more widespread in physics
    Read more


    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Set against today's emotionally charged issues of Russian misinformation attacks seeking to manipulate the 2016 and subsequent election cycles, and the Gerrymandering case currently in front of the US Supreme court, Votes from Seats: Logical Models of Electoral Systems is a timely and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary Political Science collections in general, and Electoral Systems supplemental studies lists in particular.' James A. Cox, Midwest Book Review

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108404266
    • length: 360 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.53kg
    • contains: 52 b/w illus. 48 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: how electoral systems matter – for politics and for the scientific study thereof
    Part I. Rules, Tools, and Context:
    2. Components of simple electoral systems
    3. Components of complex and composite electoral systems
    4. The number of parties and proportionality – two key tools for analysis
    5. Examples of electoral systems: nationwide PR in Israel and FPTP in Trinidad and Tobago and India
    6. Two districted PR and list type: Finland, Portugal, and other cases
    Part II. The Interparty Dimension of Assembly Politics: The Seat Product Model:
    7. The seat product model of the effective number of assembly parties
    8. Winners plus one: how we get votes from seats
    9. Basic laws of party seats and votes - and application to deviation from proportionality
    10. All politics is national? How 'embeddedness' in a national assembly system shapes votes and seats in a district
    Part III. Bringing the President In:
    11. Coattails upside down: how assembly elections shape presidential elections
    12. How election timing matters in presidential democracy – and how it does not
    Part IV. The Intraparty Dimension of Representation:
    13. How electoral systems shape candidate vote shares
    14. Pooling or its absence: nomination and alliance behavior
    Part V. What Can We Expect From Models of Electoral Systems?:
    15. Extending the seat product model: upper tiers and ethnic diversity
    16. Complexities in electoral systems: do simple models work anyway? 17. Conclusion: substance and method.

  • Resources for

    Votes from Seats

    Matthew S. Shugart, Rein Taagepera

    General Resources

    Find resources associated with this title

    Type Name Unlocked * Format Size

    Showing of

    Back to top

    This title is supported by one or more locked resources. Access to locked resources is granted exclusively by Cambridge University Press to instructors whose faculty status has been verified. To gain access to locked resources, instructors should sign in to or register for a Cambridge user account.

    Please use locked resources responsibly and exercise your professional discretion when choosing how you share these materials with your students. Other instructors may wish to use locked resources for assessment purposes and their usefulness is undermined when the source files (for example, solution manuals or test banks) are shared online or via social networks.

    Supplementary resources are subject to copyright. Instructors are permitted to view, print or download these resources for use in their teaching, but may not change them or use them for commercial gain.

    If you are having problems accessing these resources please contact

  • Authors

    Matthew S. Shugart, University of California, Davis
    Matthew S. Shugart is a Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Davis, and an Affiliated Professor of the University of Haifa, Israel. He is a world-renowned scholar of democratic institutions. He is a two-time winner of the George H. Hallet Award. He won it first for his earlier collaboration with Rein Taagepera (Seats and Votes, 1989) and again for Presidents and Assemblies (1992, with John M. Carey). He has participated as an advisor on electoral-system reform and constitutional design in several countries. Since 2005, Shugart has maintained a blog, Fruits & Votes, which serves as a forum for discussion of how electoral systems shape politics in countries around the world.

    Rein Taagepera, University of California, Irvine
    Rein Taagepera holds a Ph.D. in Physics. He is Professor Emeritus, Department of Political Science , University of California, Irvine, and Professor Emeritus, Skytte Institute , University of Tartu, Estonia. The Johan Skytte Prize (2008) and the Karl Deutsch Award by the International Political Science Association (2016) would place him among the most prominent contemporary political scientists. His most recent books are Predicting Party Sizes: The Logic of Simple Electoral Systems (2007) and Making Social Sciences More Scientific: The Need for Predictive Models (2008). In 1992, he received about a quarter of the votes in Estonia's presidential elections and was the Founding Dean of a new School of Social Sciences at the University of Tartu.


    • Winner, 2018 Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Related Books

also by this author

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.