Possible Outcomes of Introducing a Majority System for Elections to the Czech Parliament’s Chamber of Deputies


This paper explores the possibility of introducing a majority electoral system for the Chamber of Deputies in the Czech Republic, and discusses the virtues and drawbacks of such a system. It recalculates the electoral results from two previous elections using majority electoral systems (first-past-the-post and two round majority system) to examine how such a change could influence the formation of governmental majorities in the chamber and what the possible consequences for the quality of democracy in the Czech Republic could be. The results show that majority system would likely radically simplify the formation of governments with clear majorities, and hinder emerging populist parties as well as weaken the communist party. On the other hand, the adoption of a majority system would substantially lower barriers to enter the chamber, which could lead to the disintegration of the party system and its increased fragmentation. Combined with the common practice of Czech politicians to hold various mandates at different levels of the political system at the same time, this could be a significant risk factor.

Klíčová slova:
Elections; Czech Politics; Electoral System; First-Past-the-Post; Two Round Majority System
Biografie autora

Michal Pink

Faculty of Social Studies, Masaryk University

Act of Law No. 1/1993 Coll., The Constitution of the Czech Republic.

Act of Law No. 247/1995 Coll., on elections to the Parliament of the Czech Republic.

Antoš, Marek (2013): “Malapportionment a gerrymandering: lze se jich při 200 volebních obvodech vyvarovat?” (Malapportionment and Gerrymandering: How to Avoid Them in the Case of 200 Constituencies) In: Stanislav Balík (ed.), Většinový systém pro sněmovní volby? České zkušenosti a debaty. Brno: CDK, 137–150.

Balík, Stanislav et al. (2013): Většinový systém pro sněmovní volby? České zkušenosti a debaty. (Majority Electoral System for Elections to Chamber of Deputies? Czech Experiences and Debates). Brno: CDK.

Balík, Stanislav and Hloušek, Vít (2016): “The Development and Transformation of the Czech Party System after 1989.” Acta Politologica 8(2): 103–117

Blais, André (2008): To Keep it or To Change First Past the Post? The Politics of Electoral Reform. Oxford - New York: Oxford University Press.

Bowler, Shaun and Todd Donovan (2013): The Limits of Electoral Reform. New York: Oxford University Press.

Cabada, Ladislav and David Šanc (2005): Český stranický systém ve 20. století. (Czech Party System in the 20th Century.) Plzeň: Aleš Čeněk.

Čaloud, Dalibor and Anna Matušková (2006): “Kauza Pávek a Straka” (The Pavek and Straka Affair). In: Dalibor Čaloud, Tomáš Foltýn, Vlastimil Havlík and Anna Matušková (eds.), Volby do Poslanecké sněmovny v roce 2006. Brno: CDK, 166–170.

Chytilek, Roman, Jakub Šedo, Tomáš Lebeda, and Dalibor Čaloud (2009): Volební systémy (Electoral systems). Praha: Portál.

Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic, Ruling No. 64/2001 Coll.

Cox, Gary (1997): Making Votes Count. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Czech Republic Political System (n.d.). On-line (http://www.czech.cz/en/88070-czech-republic-political-system).

D´Alimonte, Roberto (2003): “Mixed Electoral Rules, Partisan Realignment, and Party System Change in Italy.” In: Matthew S. Shugart and Martin, P. Wattenberg (eds.), Mixed – Member Proportional Systems. The Best of Both Worlds? New York: Oxford University Press, 323–350.

D´Alimonte, Roberto and Bartolini, Stefano (2002): “La maggioranza ritrovata. La competizione nei collegi uninominali.” In: Roberto D´Alimonte and Stefano Bartolini (eds.), Maggioritario Finalmente? La transizione elettorale 1994 – 2001. Bologna, Societá editrice il Mulino.

Deegan-Krause, Kevin (2010): “A Fragile Stability. The Institutional Roots of Low Party System Volatility in the Czech Republic, 1990-2009.” Politologický časopis 2010(3): 227–241.

Dixon, Robert (1968): Democratic Representation: Reapportionment in Law and Politics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Downs, Anthony (1957): An Economic Theory of Democracy. New York: Harper and Row.

Dunleavy, Patrick and Margetts, Helen (1995): “Understanding the Dynamics of Electoral Reform.” International Political Science Review 16 (1): 9–29. https://doi.org/10.1177/ 019251219501600102

Duverger, Maurice (1954): Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State. New York: John Wiley.

Elgie, Robert (2005): “France: Stacking the Deck.” In: Michael Gallagher and Paul Mitchell (eds.), The Politics of Electoral Systems. New York: Oxford University Press, 119 – 136.

Gallagher Michael and Mitchell Paul (2005): The Politics of Electoral Systems. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gendzwiłł, Adam and Tomasz Zółtak (2016): What have single-member districts changed? An evidence from 2014 Polish local elections. Prague: ECPR.

Gerrymandering. (n.d.) In: Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. Available at: (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gerrymander#h2).

Griffith, Elmer (1907): The Rise and Development of the Gerrymander. Chicago: Scott Foresman.

Grilli di Cortona, Pietro and Cecilia Manzi and Aline Pennisi and Federica and Bruno Simeone (1999): Evaluation and Optimization of Electoral Systems. SIAM.

Hloušek, Vít and Lubomír Kopeček (2010): Origin, Ideology and Transformation of Political Parties. East-Central and Western Europe Compared. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Impuls Rádio (30.10.2013): VIDEO: Andrej Babiš: Chceme většinový volební systém! Available at: (http://www.impuls.cz/clanky/2013/10/video-andrej-babis-chceme-vetsinovy-volebni-system/).

Jelínek, Lukáš (2013): “Většinový volební system: Pohřebiště, nebo incubator stranické plurality?” In: Stanislav Balík (ed.), Většinový volební system pro sněmovní volby? České zkušenosti a debaty. Brno: CDK, 47–58.

Katz, Richard. S. (1998): “Malapportionment and Gerrymandering in Other Countries and Alternative Electoral Systems.” In: Mark E. Rush (ed.), Voting Rights and Redistricting in the United States. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 245–259.

Kocmánek, Jakub (2006): “Přísěpvěk k diskusi na téma většinový volební system při volbách do Poslanecké sněmovny parlamentu ČR.” In: Marek Antoš and Jan Wintr (eds.), Volební systémy a volební právo – české cesty v kontextu zahraničních modelů. Praha: Právnická fakulta KU.

Kopecký Petr (2004): “The Czech Republic: Entrenching Proportional Representation.” In: Joseph Colomer (ed.), The Handbook of Electoral System Choice. Palgrave Macmillan: London, 347–358.

Koudelka, Zdeněk (2000): “Změna volebního systému.” Politologický časopis 7(1): 90–93.

Kubát, Michal (2013): Současná česká politika: co s neefektivním režimem? (What to Do with Ineffective Regime?) Brno: Barrister & Principal.

Lacoste, Yves (1986): Géopolitiques des régions françaises. Paris: Fayard.

Le Ministère de l'intérieur (n.d): Elections. On-line (https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/elections)

Lebeda, Tomáš (2000): “Possibilities for Modifying the System of Proportional Representation Aimed at Stabilizing the Executive In the Czech Republic.” Czech Sociological Review 8(1): 49–68.

Lebeda, Tomáš (2001): “Přirozený práh poměrných systémů, teorie a realita” (Treshold in Proportional Representation System, Theory and Reality). Politologický časopis 8(2): 134–149.

Lebeda, Tomáš (2004): “Konečná podoba volebního systému pro Poslaneckou sněmovnu. Otazníky nad vynucenou úpravou z roku 2002.” (The Final Version of the Electoral System for the Chamber of Deputies. Questions about the Enforced Modification from 2002). In: Miroslav Novák and Tomáš Lebeda (eds.), Volební a stranické systémy: ČR v mezinárodním srovnání. Dobrá Voda: Aleš Čeněk, 211–249.

Lijphart, Arend (1994): Electoral Systems and Party Systems: a Study of Twenty-Seven Democracies, 1945-1990. New York: Oxford University Press.

Lijphart, Arend (1999): Patterns of Democracy: Government Forms and Performance in 36 Countries. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Lipset, Seymour Martin and Stein Rokkan (1967): Party Systems and Voter Alignments: CrossNational Perspectives. New York: Free Press.

Navrátil, Vojtěch (2010): “Výsledky druhého kola senátních voleb 1996–2008: kdo, proti komu, odkud a jak” (Results of the Second Round of the Senatorial Elections 1996 – 1998: Who against Whom, Where and How). Středoevropské politické studie 12(1), 79–98.

Novák, Miroslav (2013): “Je zapotřebí, abychom přešli k většinovým volbám do Poslanecké Sněmovny?” In: Stanislav Balík (ed.), Většinový volební system pro sněmovní volby? České zkušenosti a debaty. Brno: CDK, 119–136.

Pink, Michal and Aneta, Valterová (2010): “Volby do Poslanecké sněmovny České republiky 2010 a jejich alternativní výstupy” (Alternative Results to the Elections to the Chamber of Deputies in the Czech Republic 2010). Středoevropské politické studie 12(2–3), 142–158.

Rae, Douglas (1967): The Political Consequences of Election Laws. New Haven: Yale UP

Renwick, Alan (2010): The Politics of Electoral Reform. Changing the Rules of Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Reynolds, Andrew, Ben Reilly and Andrew Ellis (2005): Electoral System. Stockholm: International Idea.

Riker, William (1982): “The Two Party System and Duverger’s Law.” American Political Science Review 76(4): 753–766.

Rush, Mark E. (1993): Does Redistricting Make a Difference? Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP.

Sartori, Giovanni (1968): “Political Development and Political Engineering.” In: John D. Montgomery and Albert Hirschman (eds.), Public Policy. Cambridge: Harvard UP

Sartori, Giovanni (1997): Comparative constitutional engineering: an inquiry into structures, incentives and outcomes. New York: NYU Press.

Šedo, Jakub (2009a): “Návrhy volební reformy a posun ve volebním inženýrství v České republice” (Proposals for Electoral Reform and the Shift in Electoral Engineering in the Czech Republic). Evropská volební studia 4(1): 48–55.

Šedo, Jakub (2009b). “Reforma volebního systému v ČR - 20 let diskusí” (Electoral Reform in the Czech Republic - 20 Years of Discussion). Evropská volební studia 4(2): 142–153.

Šedo, Jakub (2013): “Možnosti volebního inženýrství v ČR v kontextu voleb 2013.” In: Vlastimil Havlík (ed.), Volby do Poslanecké sněmovny 2013. Brno: Masarykova univerzita

Shapiro, Howard M. (1984): “Geometry and Geography: Racial Gerrymandering and the Voting Rights Act.” The Yale Law Journal 94(1): 189–208.

Shugart, Matthew S. and Wattenberg, Martin, P. (eds.) (2003): Mixed-Member Proportional Systems: The Best of Both Worlds? New York: Oxford University Press.

Shugart, Matthew S. (2003): “’Extreme’ Electoral Systems and the Appeal of the Mixed-Member Alternative.” In: Mattew S. Shugart and Martin P. Wattenberg (eds.), Mixed-Member Proportional Systems: The Best of Both Worlds? New York: Oxford UP, 25–51

Vowles, Jack (2005): “New Zealand: The Consolidation of Reform?” In: Michael Gallagher and Paul Mitchell (eds.), The Politics of Electoral Systems. New York: Oxford University Press, 295–312.



Crossref logo





PDF (English) views


HTML (English) views