Bras. Political Sci. Rev.2016;10(2):e0005.
Does Size Matter? Electoral Performance of Small Parties in Brazil
What is the impact of small parties on electoral outcomes? This articles aims at contributing to the literature on party systems by proposing a new method to classify political parties. The methodology is applied to Brazil by focusing on the description of the election results of small parties. Cluster analysis is employed to classify political party size based on their percentage of votes in the Brazilian states. The main findings indicate that classifying parties through cluster analysis is more objective than previous classifications. As a result of this method, the article shows that small parties exert little effect on electoral volatility in Brazil as well as small parties benefit less from the disproportionality between votes and seats than the larger ones.