A number of votes at 50.2% versus 49.8% wouyld be an absolute majority but a narrow one. A 70% versus 30% would not be a narrow majority.n
a number of votes totalling over 50 per cent, such as the total number of votes or seats obtained by a party that beats the combined opposition
In American news coverage, we call this a plurality and reserve majority for 50% plus one vote.Consider a situation where there are four candidates. In scenario A, Alice, Bob and Charlie each get 24% of the vote, and Daisy gets 28% of the vote. Daisy wins by a narrow majority of 4%, but she does not have an absolute majority.
Is that really called a majority in BE? She certainly won by a fairly narrow margin.Consider a situation where there are four candidates. In scenario A, Alice, Bob and Charlie each get 24% of the vote, and Daisy gets 28% of the vote. Daisy wins by a narrow majority of 4%, but she does not have an absolute majority.
I read that to mean "in the case of more than two candidates is when the "combined" meaning applies, and when there are only two, then the "runner-up" meaning applies. It's been a long time since I have voted in the UK, so it's an honest quibble I need to keep my AE/BE bilingual status up to date!(in an election) the number of votes or seats by which the strongest party or candidate beats the combined opposition or the runner-up.
The OED adds
Andor which has the largest share of votes;
absolute majority n. [compare French majorité absolue (1789)] a majority comprising more than half of all votes cast or (rarely) more than half of the total number of registered voters; a government majority comprising more than half of all the seats in a legislature.
British The number by which the votes cast for one party or candidate exceed those for the next.
‘Labour retained the seat with a majority of 9,830’
US The number by which votes for one candidate are more than those for all other candidates together.
‘Without this shift, Kerry would have had a popular majority of a million votes.’
Certainly it is.Is that really called a majority in BE? She certainly won by a fairly narrow margin.
Yes I actually was confusing the two definitions in the BE dictionaries It is now cleared up and will require context, as usual, to determine which applies in any given use.You may be confusing two different meanings of "majority" in BrE: