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Electorate

From Academic Kids

In politics, an electorate is the group of people entitled to vote in an election. The term can refer to:

  • the totality of voters or electors (the electorate has the opportunity to express its will)
  • the partisans of a particular individual, group or political party (Gospodin Putin played to the prejudices of his personal electorate)
  • the collection of the voters enrolled in a geographically-defined area (the electorate of Finchley returned the Tory candidate again)
  • less commonly, the geographically-defined area which returns (elects) a representative (the electorate of Finchley borders on the electorate of Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh, splitting the new housing estate of Royal Cupolas).

The term was also sometimes used to refer to the dominion of an Elector in the Holy Roman Empire, who was a prince or bishop able to participate in the selection of the Emperor. One particularly well known electorate of this type was the Electorate of Hanover. In this usage, the word refers to a realm controlled by a single elector, rather than a collective of multiple electors (as in the other usages given).

Synonyms

When the term is used in the last, geographic, sense above, electorates are more commonly known as:

  • ridings (Canada)
  • divisions (Australia - official usage)
  • seats (Australia, New Zealand - public usage)
  • constituencies - (England)
  • wards (usually for local government elections)
  • districts

See also

es:Electorado

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