plurality

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Plurality

The opinion of an appellate court in which more justices join than in any concurring opinion.

The excess of votes cast for one candidate over those votes cast for any other candidate.

Appellate panels are made up of three or more justices. In some cases the justices disagree over the outcome of the case to such an extent that a majority opinion cannot be achieved. (A majority opinion is one in which the number of justices who join is larger than the number of justices who do not.) To resolve such disagreements and reach a final decision, two or more justices publish opinions called concurring opinions, and the other justices decide which of these concurring opinions they will join. The concurring opinion in which more justices join than any other is called a plurality opinion. Plurality decisions can reflect a disagreement among the justices over a legal issue in a case or can reveal deeper ideological differences among the members of the court.

The term plurality is also used to describe the outcome of an election that involves more than two candidates. The candidate who receives the greatest number of votes is said to have received a plurality of the votes. In contrast, the term majority is used to describe the outcome of an election involving only two candidates; the winner is said to have received a majority of the votes.

A candidate who has a plurality of the votes can also have a majority of the votes, but only if she receives a number of votes greater than that cast for all the other candidates combined. Mathematically, a candidate with a plurality has a majority if she receives more than one-half of the total number of votes cast. If candidate John Doe has a plurality, he has earned more votes than any other candidate, but whether he has a majority depends on how many votes he won.

Cross-references

Court Opinion.

plurality

noun advantage in votes cast, bulk, great number, host, large amount, large number, large quantity, lead, main part, majority, multitude, multitudo, preponderancy, shoal, superiority in number, weight of numbers
Associated concepts: majority, quorum
See also: majority, mass, multiplicity, preponderance

PLURALITY, government. The greater number of votes given at an election; it is distinguished from a majority, (q.v.) which is a plurality of all the votes which might have been given; though in common parlance majority is used in the sense here given to plurality.

References in periodicals archive ?
In a plurality system, it is more difficult to have a highly competitive election because the fact is, is that your vote counts only toward your district area.
Although economic success does not depend solely on state institutions, there is evidence that parliamentary-PR systems perform better than plurality systems.
In a two-round system, in which the coordination around two candidates is postponed to the second ballot, the incentives to shift to PR are rather similar to those under the single-member plurality system.
5) When values for this country were eliminated and the averages recalculated, the results were nearly identical, where SMD Plurality systems had values of 2.
Cumulative voting is a semi-proportional system because -- as with the plurality systems used in most U.
Vernon Bogdanor describes the plurality system as it developed in Britain and the British colonies as being "profoundly linked to the notion of territorial representation.
The authors are careful to try and point out that this does not necessarily mean that blacks would do better in a plurality system.
And just as Cairns predicted, it is the plurality system that has systematically distorted the divisive tensions in the country, particularly with the 1993 federal election results.
The Cincinnati City Council in December chose to postpone a Voting Rights Act lawsuit filed against the city's use of an at-large plurality system by agreeing to hold a series of public hearings on voting systems and placing their preferred system on the May 4 ballot.
Finally, it would allow PEI to set an example by reforming a plurality system that, like many others in North America, is seriously flawed.
Simplicity often has been cited as one of the virtues of our plurality system.
A proportional Representation system used in conjunction with a plurality system, but unlike MMP, the PR seats do not compensate for any disproportion arising from elections to the plurality system.