Electoral campaigns can begin due to term expirations, player action or triggered by an event or decision, in the government types that allow elections. By default, the campaign lasts 6 months, during which special election events happen regularly, allowing the player to influence the election. Then on election day the result is determined as follows.
First, each POP votes. This is one method to calculate how a POPs support will be divided:
- Assign each Ideology and Issue a value equal to its support within the POP.
- Multiply the Ideology values by the POP's CON divided by 0.2. This is because more conscious POPs give more value to Ideology rather than individual Issues.
- Each political party receives support based on the values of its matching Ideology and Issues. This means that Ideologies or Issues supported by multiple parties will have more support than it seems they should.
- Multiply the scores by any bonuses or penalties such as Party Loyalty, Political Party reforms, or Crime.
- Normalise the scores then multiply by the number of voters in the POP and any bonuses or penalties to voting weight such as Citizenship Policy, Voting Franchise, special modifiers, or Crime.
The next step is to calculate how a Province votes.
- Add together all the individual POP votes to get provincial totals for each party.
- Also add together all the votes to calculate the total number of voters in the province.
- Normalise the party totals and apply the cutoff based on the current Voting System:
- Normalise the values again after the cutoff.
- Multiply by the total voters to calculate how many people each party represents in the province.
Add up the party scores for each province and normalise them. These percentages are what the game announces and uses to calculate which party forms government. Party Loyalty bonuses are added to each province for the party which won a majority of the votes there. The bonus is approximately one tenth of it's pre-cutoff share of votes, so a party with 50% of the vote will get +0.05 party loyalty.
Note that the yearly renovation of the upper house has no relation with the party elections.