Psephology (from Greek psephos ψῆφος, 'pebble', which the Greeks used as ballots) is the statistical analysis of elections. Psephology uses compilations of precinct voting returns for elections going back some years, public opinion polls, campaign finance information and similar statistical data. The term was coined in the United Kingdom in 1952 by historian R. B. McCallum to describe the scientific analysis of past elections. In Britain the term occasionally appears in scholarly literature.

Psephology also has various applications specifically in analysing the results of election returns for current indicators, as opposed to predictive purposes. For instance, the Gallagher Index measures the disproportionality of an election.


See also

External links

  • ACE Project - Comprehensive information resource for Electoral Design and Administartion. Includes much comparative data on elections and electoral systems
  • 'Psephos' Dr. Adam Carr's Elections Archive
  • International IDEA - International Organisation providing (amongst other things) statistical analysis of elections and electoral systems

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