Res Publica - Journal of Undergraduate Research


Elections in majoritarian states are supposed to produce single-party majority governments. However, the most recent elections in the three main advanced industrial majoritarian parliamentary democracies - the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia - failed to produce majority governments. No single party won a majority of the parliamentary seats in any of these three elections, a condition commonly referred to as a hung parliament. Despite the literature's tendency to dismiss hung parliaments as electoral abnormalities, this recent wave of hung parliaments among such similarly situated states suggests the presence of an underlying causal factor that contributes to these outcomes. The current study analyzes the role played by the rise of postmaterialist values in advanced industrial societies in the occurrence of hung parliaments through multiple least squares regression. While the study is not able to arrive at a universal explanation for hung parliaments in all three cases, it is able to explain hung parliaments in Australia and Canada.