chapter  1
24 Pages

Introduction

National parliamentary elections conducted under the first-past-the-post electoral system typically result in the election of majority parliaments and the formation of a single-party majority government. India, however, has become a very important and puzzling exception to this pattern during the past 17 years. Although India has used the first-past-the-post (FPTP) electoral system, none of her general elections has produced a majority winner since 1989 and only one of them was followed by the formation of a majority-size government. In short, electoral and parliamentary majorities have become elusive properties of the world’s most populous democracy.