European General Elections: vote shares of largest parties.
The table shows the vote shares gained by the four best supported parties in the most recent European elections in sixteen countries including the UK.
The table places countries in order of highest to lowest turnout. The French legislative parliament attracts low turnout in comparison to presidential elections and thus places France at the foot of the table. Much in the way of local and European elections in the UK many voters treat it as a bit of a sideshow. The largest party fell just short of an overall majority but gained consent of the assembly to lead. In Poland the voting constitution is complex and in 2015 for the first time a party achieved the necessary level of support to take government by itself.
Germany is being governed under a Grand Coalition. For the uninitiated, it is a coalition between the two largest parties. We were unable to clearly identify from available sources the exact arrangements under which Portugal is currently governed in its parliament.
At the foot of columns 5,6,7 and 8 we have shown the average support for the placings ranging from 30.2% for the largest to 9.2% for the fourth largest parties.
Beneath that we show by how much the UK varies from average and it can be seen that the variance at each placing is statistically huge. The second place variance is not far off the value of the average itself. If we remove France from the averages, the UK variances increase a little more.
Our data may help readers in terms of the following lines of investigation:
- Referring to Column 9, under proportional representation systems, is there a common pattern in the arrangements made for government? The small ‘s’ indicates a party that achieved fifth place support or lower. Formation talks may be under negotiation in countries with recent election dates.
- What levels of support do the largest parties attract (Column 5) and how evenly is support divided across the four largest parties (Columns 5 to 8)?
- If readers are interested in true levels of support in the electorate as a whole, the percentages in Columns 5 to 8 must be multiplied by the percentage turnout in Column 3. In each case actual support is a lower figure, increasingly lower until among the bottom-most rows, the figure will be approximately halved.
- The table will inform readers as to the distinctly different pattern shown up in the figures for the UK. It would have been even more evident had we taken Poland and France out of consideration, countries where the untypical factors mentioned above apply. Unusual circumstances did prevail at the time of the UK 2017 general election. But the largest party has often gained 40% and more in recent UK elections and the second largest over 30%.
- Electoral reformers can use this table as a step to identification of a model for proper proportional system of the type they wish to advocate for the UK. At first glance our analysis indicates both quantitative and qualitative differences between the top and lower halves of the table.
We hope you have found this data useful. We encourage you to circulate it among those who wish to bring about a real improvement to the UK’s democracy by moving us as quickly as possible to a PR system.