Difference Between Plurality and Majority (With Table)

After the election is over, everyone is waiting for the result to see who is the winner. By how many votes won and what was the number of votes of the candidates. Everyone is curious to know all these things. Whatever the result, either by plurality or by the majority, he elects the winning candidate who is the winner. Thus, these two words have great importance in the choice, so it is considered very important to know the difference between them. 

Plurality vs Majority

The difference between plurality and majority is that Plurality means the candidate with the most votes, i.e. – even if his vote percentage is less than the threshold of 50.1% – wins the election. Majority means getting half or more votes ie – getting 50.1% or more votes if a candidate gets it.

The plurality system is considered a simple means of obtaining the result of an election. To win an election a candidate needs a large majority of the votes he has; According to the majority formula, it is not necessary to have more votes than the combined opposition. The number of people standing as candidates in a constituency is won by a minority.

Under the majority system, any party or candidate with more than 50 percent of the votes is awarded to the contesting party of that constituency. Any candidate who gets an absolute majority does not apply where there are two or more candidates, there is dissatisfaction. Several majority formulas have been developed to solve this.

Comparison Table Between Plurality and Majority

Parameters of comparisonPluralityMajority
DefinitionPlurality is a noun, which is like the majority which is more than half. In voting and election, plurality means “the number of votes obtained by one candidate is greater than the number of votes obtained by all other candidates”.The majority is a noun meaning “the highest part or more than half of the total number.” In the context of voting or election, it refers to the total number of votes obtained by a candidate which constitutes more than half of the total number of votes. 
Origin wordThis word plurality originated from the Middle English word pluralite which comes from the French and Latin word plūrālitās.The word majority is derived from the Medieval Latin word Majoritas. 
First recorded in Plurality was first recorded in 1325-75.The word majority was first recorded in the middle of 1545–55.
CountryThe term plurality is mostly used in the United States.The word majority is mostly used in the United Kingdom. 
ExampleAndrew won the class head election with 45% which was more than other candidates.Ali won the school president election with 75% of the vote share.

What is Plurality?

Plurality is a noun, which is like the majority which is more than half. If we talk about voting, plurality means “the number of votes obtained by one candidate is greater than the number of votes obtained by all other candidates”. This means that whichever candidate wins a plurality if compared with other candidates, will have a higher number of votes than others but not necessarily a majority. Overall it refers to the excess of votes received by the leading candidate. 

The plurality system is considered a simple means of obtaining the result of an election. To win an election a candidate needs a large majority of the votes he has; According to the majority formula, it is not necessary to have more votes than the combined opposition. The number of people standing as candidates in a constituency is won by a minority.

Plurality was first recorded in 1325-75. This word originated from the Middle English word pluralite which comes from the French and Latin word plūrālitās. In the early stages, the term was mostly used in the United States.

For example, Obama won the plurality for the college union leader with 45% while Kenndy came with 30% and Donald with 25%. Obama did not get more than 50% of support but still, he won the union leader election.

What is the Majority?

The majority is a noun meaning “the highest part or more than half of the total number.” In the context of voting or election, it refers to the total number of votes obtained by a candidate which constitutes more than half of the total number of votes. It refers to the party with the majority.

Under the majority system, any party or candidate with more than 50 percent of the votes is awarded to the contesting party of that constituency. Any candidate who gets an absolute majority does not apply where there are two or more candidates, there is dissatisfaction. Several majority formulas have been developed to solve this.

The word Majority is an old word that is derived from the Medieval Latin word Majoritas. The term was first recorded in the middle of 1545–55. Since then it has been used regularly. This term was mostly used in the context of voting and elections.

Henry Watson Fowler was the first American who suggested this name for election purposes. He gave an alternative name and that is the relative majority that means “receiving the most votes”.  

For Example, Donald was thrilled to win the majority of votes for the presidential election even after losing the popular vote.

Main Differences Between Plurality and Majority 

  1. Plurality means the highest number or the greatest number whereas the majority means 50% or more than 50%.
  2. Plurality was first recorded in 1325-75 whereas the word majority was first recorded in the middle of 1545–55.
  3. This word plurality originated from the Middle English word pluralite which comes from the French and Latin word plūrālitās whereas the word majority is derived from the Medieval Latin word Majoritas. 
  4. The term plurality was mostly used in the United States whereas the word majority was mostly used in the United Kingdom. 
  5. Plurality win is only considered for a single constituency if the candidate does not have the majority whereas for the party (The Democratic or The Republican)  to win they must have a majority.

Conclusion

So here we conclude that plurality and majority, these two words have only one similarity and that is that both are used in voting and electoral constituencies. If we talk about the difference, then many differences have been seen between the two. The first and main difference is the percentage used at the time of election results. The majority is achieved only when more than half of the votes have been received by only one candidate. The difference between plurality and majority is not much, there is only a degree of difference between them which is considered necessary to understand.

References

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/026137949390040Q
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/BF00134212.pdf
  3. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0010414094027003001
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