Patrick Dunleavy (LSE):
For the first time in history, the Australian outcome means that every key ‘Westminster model’ country in the world now has a hung Parliament. These are the former British empire countries that according to decades of political science orthodoxy are supposed to produce strong, single party government. Following Duverger’s Law their allegedly ‘majoritarian’ electoral systems (first past the post and AV) will typically produce reinforced majorities for one of the top two parties. But now the table below shows that four of the five key countries have coalition governments in balanced parliaments where no party has a majority. The one exception is Canada, where the Parliament has been hung since 2004, across three general elections. But somehow Canadian politicians have still not got the knack of constructing a coalition government.