As per English Wikipedia:

Plurality voting is an electoral system in which each voter is allowed to vote for only one candidate, and the candidate who polls the most among their counterparts (a plurality) is elected.

Generally, when you want to say a candidate won the majority of the votes, you could say:

La kandidato gajnis la plimulton/plejmulton de la voĉoj.

But what if they won a plurality, but not a majority, of the votes?

One would think that the solution lay in the difference between plejmulto and plimulto: taken literally, the former could be equivalent to absolute majority in the context of electoral systems, and the latter to relative majority (or plurality). But this distinction is not recognized by the dictionaries that I've checked. Vortaro, for instance, states:

majoritat/o: Plimulto

So, how can you differentiate between these two concepts in Esperanto?

  • 1
    I'm not sure if it's used at all, but relativa majoritato could be one answer.
    – Færd
    Aug 24, 2020 at 9:00

1 Answer 1


You are right, that there are three words for majority.

  • majoritato = plimulto according to PIV, but let's leave this out, because it is not a bona lingvo word
  • plimulto : according to PIV this means a bigger share in a comparison to other shares
  • plejmulto : according to PIV this means the biggest share, does not carry the idea of comparison

So the distinction is there, but in practice you want to specify as there are several kinds of majorities:

  • simple majority : simpla plimulto, in a two-alternative election an alternative gets at least one vote more than the other alternative
  • relative majority : relativa/proporcia plimulto, in a multe-alternative election an alternative gets more votes that any other alternative
  • absolute majority : absoluta plimulto, in a multe-alternative election an alternative gets over half of all given(*) votes
  • qualified majority : kvalifikita plimulto, in a multe-alternative election an alternative gets at least some specied part of all given(*) votes, say ⅔
  • unanimous decision : unuanima/unuvoĉa/ĉiesvoĉa/ĉiuvoĉa/ĉiukonsenta decido, all given(*) votes

*: Usually the decision is made among the given votes, so null or blank votes (malplenaj/blankaj voĉdonoj) matter but not discarded (forĵetitaj?) ones. Sometimes you may require the majority among all with a right to vote (balotrajtaj). Therefore if there is any doubt, you have to specify, e.g.

  • La absoluta plimulto devas superi la duonon de la donitaj, neforĵetaj voĉoj.

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