Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Back to the Future? The Political Consequences of Electoral Reform in Papua New Guinea

Reilly, B. (2002) Back to the Future? The Political Consequences of Electoral Reform in Papua New Guinea. The Journal of Pacific History, 37 (2). pp. 239-253.

Link to Published Version:
*Subscription may be required


In August 2001, in a constitutional reform of potentially far-reaching consequences, Papua New Guinea's parliament voted to change the country's electoral system. As a result of this decision, all elections held after 2002 will be conducted under a system of preferential voting. A similar system was used for Papua New Guinea's first three elections between 1964 and 1972, before the change to a first-past-the-post system at independence in 1975. This paper, drawing on a combination of historical records, election studies and recent observations, looks at the historical impact of both electoral systems in Papua New Guinea, and at the different kinds of political behaviour encouraged by them, including their divergent influences upon election campaigning, candidature rates, support levels for successful candidates, electoral violence and the party system. It concludes by examining the potential consequences of a return to preferential voting in Papua New Guinea.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Copyright: Journal of Pacific History
Item Control Page Item Control Page