Definition of election noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ɪˈlekʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ɪˈlekʃn//
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  1. 1  [uncountable, countable] the process of choosing a person or a group of people for a position, especially a political position, by voting election campaigns/results (especially British English) How many candidates are standing for election? (especially North American English) to run for election to win/lose an election to fight an election to vote in an election In America, presidential elections are held every four years. The prime minister is about to call (= announce) an election. Synonymselectionvote poll referendum ballotThese are all words for an event in which people choose a representative or decide something by voting.election an occasion on which people officially choose a political representative or government by voting:Who did you vote for in the last election?vote an occasion on which a group of people vote for somebody/​something:They took a vote on who should go first.poll (journalism) the process of voting in an election:They suffered a defeat at the polls.referendum an occasion on which all the adults in a country can vote on a particular issueballot the system of voting by marking an election paper, especially in secret; an occasion on which a vote is held:The leader will be chosen by secret ballot. Ballot is usually used about a vote within an organization rather than an occasion on which the public vote.Patterns a national/​local election/​vote/​poll/​referendum/​ballot to have/​hold/​conduct a(n) election/​vote/​poll/​referendum/​ballot CollocationsVoting in electionsRunning for election conduct/​hold an election/​a referendum (especially North American English) run for office/​election/​governor/​mayor/​president/​the White House (especially British English) stand for election/​office/​Parliament/​the Labour Party/​a second term hold/​call/​contest a general/​national election launch/​run a presidential election campaign support/​back a candidate sway/​convince/​persuade voters/​the electorate appeal to/​attract/​woo/​target (North American English) swing voters/(British English) floating voters fix/​rig/​steal an election/​the voteVoting go to/​be turned away from (especially British English) a polling station/(North American English) a polling place cast a/​your vote/​ballot (for somebody) vote for the Conservative candidate/​the Democratic party mark/​spoil your ballot paper count (British English) the postal votes/(especially North American English) the absentee ballots go to/​be defeated at the ballot box get/​win/​receive/​lose votes get/​win (60% of) the popular/​black/​Hispanic/​Latino/​Muslim vote win the election/(in the US) the primaries/​a seat in Parliament/​a majority/​power lose an election/​the vote/​your majority/​your seat win/​come to power in a landslide (victory) (= with many more votes than any other party) elect/​re-elect somebody (as) mayor/​president/​an MP/​senator/​congressman/​congresswomanTaking power be sworn into office/​in as president take/​administer (in the US) the oath of office swear/​take (in the UK) an/​the oath of allegiance give/​deliver (in the US) the president’s inaugural address take/​enter/​hold/​leave office appoint somebody (as) ambassador/​governor/​judge/​minister form a government/​a cabinet serve two terms as prime minister/​in office CultureelectionsIn Britain, a general election takes place at least every five years, when the electorate (= all the people in the country who can vote) vote for the Members of Parliament or MPs in the House of Commons. Each MP represents a constituency, which is an area of the country with a roughly equal number of people (about 90 000 people) and is expected to be interested in the affairs of the constituency and to represent the interests of local people. If an MP dies or resigns, a by-election is held in the constituency he or she represented. Before an election one person is chosen by each of the main political parties to be their candidate. Independent candidates, who do not belong to a political party, can also stand for election. Each candidate has to leave a deposit with the returning officer, the person responsible for managing the election, which is returned to them if they win more than 5% of the votes, otherwise they lose their deposit. Before an election, candidates campaign for support in their constituency and local party workers spend their time canvassing, going from house to house to ask people about how they intend to vote. At the national level the parties spend a lot of money on advertising and media coverage. They cannot buy television time, but each party is allowed a number of strictly timed party political broadcasts.Anyone over the age of 18 has the right to vote at elections, provided they are on the electoral register (= list of adults in a constituency). Voting is not compulsory. The turnout (= number of people who vote) in recent general elections has been about 60%, although in the past 75% was more usual. On the day of the election, called polling day, voters go to a polling station, often in a local school or church hall, and are given a ballot paper. The ballot paper lists all the candidates for that constituency and the parties they represent. The voter goes into a polling booth, where nobody can see what he or she is writing, and puts a cross next to the name of one candidate only. After the polls close, the ballot papers are taken to a central place to be counted. Counting usually takes place on the same day as the election, continuing late into the night if necessary. If the number of votes for two candidates is very close, they can demand a recount. Only the candidate who gets the most votes in each constituency is elected. This system is called first-past-the-post. The winning party, which forms the next government, is the one that wins most seats in Parliament (= has the most MPs).In the US, elections are held regularly for President, for both houses of Congress and for state and local government offices. Candidates usually run for office with the support of one of the two main political parties, the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, although anyone wanting to run as an independent can organize a petition and ask people to sign it. Some people also run as write-in candidates: they ask voters to add their name to the ballot when they vote. A large amount of money is spent on election campaigning, where candidates try to achieve name recognition (= making their names widely known) by advertising on television, in newspapers and on posters. They take part in debates and hold rallies where they give speeches and go round'pressing the flesh', shaking hands with as many voters as possible.Only a person over 35 who was born in the US can run for President. Presidential elections are held every four years and early in election year, the political parties choose their candidates through a series of primary elections held in each state. As these races take place it gradually becomes clear which candidates are the strongest and in the summer each party holds a convention to make the final choice of candidates for President and Vice-President. In November, the people go to vote and although the President is said to be directly elected, the official vote is made by an electoral college. Each state has a certain number of electors in the college based on the state's population. All the electors from a state must vote for the candidate who got the most votes in the state, and the candidate with at least 270 votes out of 538 becomes President. After the election, the new President goes to Washington for the inauguration on 20 January, and takes the oath of office.Americans over the age of 18 have the right to vote, but only about half of them take part in presidential elections and voter turnout for other elections is even lower. On election day, voters go to polling stations where they first have to sign their name in a book that lists all the voters in the precinct (= area) and then cast a vote. Some states use computerized voting systems and in others voters pull down a metal lever beside the name of the person they want to vote for which operates a mechanical counter. It is possible to select all the candidates from one party, which is called voting a straight ticket, but many voters choose candidates from both parties and vote a split ticket. Journalists and pollsters are allowed to ask people how they voted and these exit polls help to predict election results. However, the results of exit polls may not be announced until polling stations everywhere have closed, in case they influence the result. See related entries: Elections
  2. 2  [uncountable] the fact of having been chosen by election election (as something) We welcome his election as president. election (to something) a year after her election to the committee see also by-election, general election Wordfindercandidate, constituency, contest, democracy, election, majority, manifesto, poll, referendum, swing vote Wordfinderact, bill, chamber, coalition, election, law, legislation, parliament, politician, vote
  3. Word OriginMiddle English: via Old French from Latin electio(n-), from eligere ‘pick out’, from e- (variant of ex-) ‘out’ + legere ‘to pick’.Extra examples All counties have now certified their election returns. Education is a key election issue. Elections are scheduled for November. It was successful in rallying voters at election time. Membership of the committee is by election. Predicting the result of close elections is a perilous game. The Governor faces an unprecedented recall election. The US is reaching the end of its latest presidential election cycle. The election turnout in 2008 was high. The party swept Turkish elections in November. The party won a landslide election. The people will decide this election and they will prove all the polls wrong. The prime minister may decide to call an early election. The violence in the country will not derail the elections. They demanded a rerun of the disputed presidential election. a bitterly disputed election claims that voter fraud had stolen the election for the Republicans her election to the Senate in the 2001 general election opinion poll results in the run-up to elections the democratic concept of popular elections the scheduled Lebanese elections in May votes which could swing the entire national election He first stood for election when he was 21. It will be a hard-fought election campaign. Local elections will be held later this year. Presidential elections take place every four years. She’s yet to say whether she will be running for election. The country’s first free elections took place in 1990. The first election results will be coming in very soon. The party promised this in their election manifesto. The prime minister is expected to call an election in the spring. Who did you vote for in the last election?
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: election