A Comparison of Electoral Formulae for the Faroese Parliament

  • Petur Zachariassen
  • Martin Zachariassen
Part of the Studies in Choice and Welfare book series (WELFARE)


The Faroese electoral system uses a method of proportional representation for distributing the seats in the Faroese Parliament (The Løgting). The electoral formulae attempt to give each political party a number of seats that is close to its vote share. In addition, each district should receive a number of delegates that is proportional to the number of voters in the district. We show that the current electoral formula has significant weaknesses, and propose 7 alternative electoral formulae which consider various subsets of constraints — such as lower bounds on the number of seats in districts and electoral thresholds. Numerical simulations with the current and proposed electoral formulae on the elections from 1978 to 2004, and on randomly generated election results, are presented. The results show that some of the proposed alternatives clearly are superior to the current electoral formula with respect to well-known quality measures.


Electoral formula apportionment method proportional representation multimember districts biproportional rounding numerical simulations 


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Copyright information

© Springer Berlin · Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Petur Zachariassen
    • 1
  • Martin Zachariassen
    • 2
  1. 1.University of the Faroe IslandsDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Computer ScienceUniversity of CopenhagenCopenhagen

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