Two-party competition with many constituences

David Austen-Smith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


The paper considers a single member district, simple plurality political system with n districts. There are two political parties, each consisting of n candidates. Individual candidates seek to win their district per se, but voters appreciate that final policy outcomes will depend upon: (1) which party wins control of the legislature, and (2) how party policy is derived from the party members' policies. Candidates take account of such voter deliberations in choosing their election strategies. A set of minimal sufficient conditions for an equilibrium to exist in this game is provided and the equilibrium characterized. While party policies are shown to converge in equilibrium, candidate policies in general do not - either across or within parties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)177-198
Number of pages22
JournalMathematical social sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1984


  • Simple plurality
  • election strategies
  • equilibrium
  • game
  • political system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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