, an electorate
is the group
entitled to vote
in an election
. The term can refer to:
- the totality of voters or electors (the electorate has the opportunity to express its will)
- the partisans of a particular individual, group or political party (Gospodin Putin played to the prejudices of his personal electorate)
- the collection of the voters enrolleded in a geographically-defined area (the electorate of Finchley retuned the Tory candidate again)
- the geographically-defined area which returns (elects) a representative (the electorate of Finchley borders on the electorate of Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh, splitting the new housing estate of Royal Cupolas). Compare ward, district.
The term was also sometimes used to refer to the dominion of an Elector in the Holy Roman Empire
, who was a prince or bishop able to participate in the selection of the Emperor. One particularly well known electorate of this type was the Electorate of Hanover
. In this usage, the word refers to a realm controlled by a single elector, rather than a collective of multiple electors (as in the other usages given).