Thresholds" of Representation:
Candidate-Based Proportional and Semi-Proportional Systems
A variety of different formulas are used to translate votes into seats in proportional and semi-proportional voting systems. For candidate-based systems – those systems that can be used in non-partisan races without parties – the threshold typically is established by the workings of the system rather than an electoral law. For these systems – cumulative voting and the one-vote version of limited voting -- and for the most common form of choice voting (with the "Droop" threshold), the thresholds to be guaranteed an opportunity to earn a seat are listed in the chart below. Note that candidates can win a seats with a lower share of votes this this threshold, but can't be guaranteed such a win unless they win this share.
Number of seats in district
Threshold to win one seat
One vote more than:
"Victory Threshold" of Representation =
This factsheet is part of the CVD Factbook Series, a compilation of one-page factsheets covering voting systems and voting system reforms.