Does the Electoral System Foster a Predominant Party System? Evidence from Turkey

Arslantaş D., Arslantas S. , KAISER A.

SWISS POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW, 2020 (SSCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier

  • Cilt numarası:
  • Basım Tarihi: 2020
  • Doi Numarası: 10.1111/spsr.12386


This paper discusses the role of the electoral system in making the Justice and Development Party (AKP) dominant. Drawing on Sartori's framework, we first clarify the concept of a predominant party system. Second, we examine the impact of the electoral system on the emergence of a predominant party system in Turkey. Analysing election results, we argue that the electoral system fosters dominance in three ways. First, a combination of electoral formula, national threshold and district threshold leads to over-representation of large parties and under-representation of small ones. Second, the fear of a wasted vote due to the high threshold prompts voters to support their second-best option, which concentrates the votes among large parties. Finally, the electoral system increases electoral turnout rates by extending polarization.