Condorcet is an election method that selects the candidate, if such a candidate exists, that would win a majority vote against all other candidates. Ballots may take the form of either a single ranked choice vote or a sequence of runoffs.

There is not always a "Condorcet winner," and various implementations provide differing methods of determining a winner in such cases.

Input: preferential vote or runoffs

Output: Condorcet winner or circular paradox


The Condorcet method takes its name from an early promoter, the 18th-century French mathematician Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas Caritat, who was the Marquis de Condorcet. The method itself was first described by Ramon Llull in 1299. A version of it is used in Robert's Rules of Order, first published in 1876.

Recently, it has attracted the interest of software developers and has been adopted by several prominent Free Software communities and Pirate Party groups.

Feedback loops


  • Prevents some potential for gaming that is possible in other voting methods


  • The complexity of the system may lead to confusion




Further resources