50 Plus 1 is a majority electoral system that attempts to provide for a greater degree of representativeness by making sure that the leading candidate achieve a majority of votes in order to win.
With this system If no candidate gets the majority of votes, then a second round of voting can be held (a re-run) mostly a week or so after the initial ballot. In this second round of voting, the only people that are allowed to participate are the top two candidates from the first round
Some good examples of such practice is countries, such as United Kingdom, Australia, Zambia. In terms of how the system works, in a scenario where after a general election, no one has managed to secure a majority vote in the first round, then they can be either a provision for a coalition (depending on country to country) or the top two candidates in the first round can move on to the second round (re-run).
However, because of its effectiveness and ability to eliminate discrimination, most countries are now adopting it, the most recent case is of Zambia, as they adopted this system last year just before the general elections.
- The system is praised by many political commentators for producing results that are truly majoritarian in that the winner has to amass absolute majority of the valid votes cast.
- Where no majority is reached it allows voters to have a second chance to vote for their chosen candidate, or even to change their minds between the first and the second rounds.
- The system encourages diverse interests to join together behind the successful candidates from the first round in the lead-up to the second round of voting, thus encouraging bargains and trade-offs between parties and candidates.
- It also enables the parties and the electorate to react to changes in the political landscape that occur between the first and the second rounds of voting.