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In representative democracies, a mandate is the authority granted by a constituency to act as its representative.[1] Elections, especially ones with a large margin of victory, are often said to give the newly elected government or elected official an implicit mandate to put into effect certain policies.[2] When a government seeks re-election they may introduce new policies as part of the campaign, seek voter approval, and say they are seeking a "new mandate". Governments and elected officials may use language of a "mandate" to lend legitimacy to actions that they take while in office.[3]

In some languages, a "mandate" can mean a legislative seat won in an election rather than the electoral victory itself.[citation needed]

See also



  1. ^ "Mandate". Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  2. ^ Glossary | Elections ACT. Jul 2012. (cf., The Government's claim that once elected they have the right and responsibility to implement their policies.)
  3. ^ Azari 2014.


  • Azari, Julia R. (2014). Delivering the People's Message: The Changing Politics of the Presidential Mandate. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-5224-6. JSTOR 10.7591/j.ctt5hh0ft.
  • "Doctrine of Mandate". A dictionary of political phrases and allusions: with a short bibliography By Hugh Montgomery, Philip George Cambray.

Further reading