Hare quota

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The Hare quota (also known as the simple quota) is a formula used under some forms of the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system and the largest remainder method of party-list proportional representation. In these voting systems the quota is the minimum number of votes required for a party or candidate to capture a seat, and the Hare quota is the total number of votes divided by the number of seats.

The Hare quota is the simplest quota that can be used in elections held under the STV system. In an STV election a candidate who reaches the quota is elected while any votes a candidate receives above the quota are transferred to another candidate.


The Hare quota was devised by Thomas Hare, one of the earliest supporters of STV. In 1868, Henry Richmond Droop (1831–1884) invented the Droop quota as an alternative to the Hare quota, and Droop is now widely used, the Hare quota today being rarely used with STV.


The Hare quota may be given as:


  • = the total valid poll; that is, the number of valid (unspoiled) votes cast in an election.
  • = the total number of seats to be filled in the election.

When there are 5 seats to be filled and 100 votes cast, the Hare quota is (100/5) = 20 votes.

In the single-winner case, a Hare quota is just all of the voters. In general, voting methods that are based on Hare quotas attempt to represent all voters, but don't guarantee that a majority of voters will get even half of the seats.


In Brazil's largest remainder system the Hare quota is used to set the minimum number of seats allocated to each party or coalition. Remaining seats are allocated according to the D'Hondt method.[1] This procedure is used for the Federal Chamber of Deputies, State Assemblies, Municipal and Federal District Chambers.

Compared to some similar methods, the use of the Hare quota with the largest remainder method tends to favour the smaller parties at the expense of the larger ones. Thus in Hong Kong the use of the Hare quota has prompted political parties to nominate their candidates on separate tickets, as under this system this may increase the number of seats they obtain.[2] The Democratic Party, for example, filled three separate tickets in the 8-seat New Territories West constituency in the 2008 Legislative Council elections. In the 2012 election, no candidate list won more than one seat in any of the six PR constituencies (a total of 40 seats). In Hong Kong the Hare quota system has effectively become a multi-member single-vote system in the territory.[3][4] This formula also rewards political alliances and parties of small-to-moderate size and discourages broader unions which led to the fragmentation of the political parties and electoral alliances rather than expanding them.[5]

  1. Note: Brazilian law is in the Portuguese language: Brazilian Electoral Code, (Law 4737/1965), Articles 106 to 109.
  2. Tsang, Jasper Yok Sing (11 March 2008). "Divide then conquer". South China Morning Post. Hong Kong. p. A17.
  3. Ma Ngok (25 July 2008). 港式比例代表制 議會四分五裂 [Hong Kong-style proportional representation is divided]. wikipedia:Ming Pao (in Chinese). Hong Kong. p. A31.
  4. Choy, Ivan Chi Keung (31 July 2008). 港式選舉淪為變相多議席單票制 [Hong Kong-style elections become a multi-seat multi-seat single-vote system]. wikipedia:Ming Pao (in Chinese). Hong Kong. p. A29.
  5. Carey, John M. "Electoral Formula and Fragmentation in Hong Kong" (PDF). Cite journal requires |journal= (help)