Public Choice

, Volume 158, Issue 3–4, pp 399–425 | Cite as

The Alternative Vote and Coombs Rule versus First-Past-the-Post: a social choice analysis of simulated data based on English elections, 1992–2010

  • Nicholas R. MillerEmail author


This paper presents a social choice analysis, using simulated data based on English general elections from 1992 through 2010, of the properties of three voting rules: First-Past-the-Post, the Alternative Vote, and the Coombs Rule. More specifically, the paper examines (1) the plurality, anti-plurality, and Condorcet status of candidates in each election and the interrelationships among these statuses, (2) the effects of strict and partial single-peakedness of voter preferences, and (3) the identity of winners, Condorcet efficiency, and the relationship between votes and seats under the three voting rules. The analysis considers only the case of three candidates and, in the manner of basic social choice theory, the set of candidates and voter preferences over them are taken to be fixed.


Social choice Voting rules Condorcet winner English elections 



An earlier version was presented at the Second World Congress of the Public Choice Societies, Miami, March 8–11, 2012. I thank Jack Nagel, Nicolaus Tideman, and Dan Felsenthal for helpful comments and Pippa Norris for making available data used in this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC)BaltimoreUSA

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