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List of close election results

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This is a list of close election results on the national level and within administrative divisions. It lists results that have been decided by a margin of less than 1 vote in 1,000 (a margin of less than 0.1 percentage points): single-winner elections where the winning candidate was less than 0.1 ahead of the second-placed candidate, as well as party-list elections where a party was less than 0.1% short of the electoral threshold or two lists that obtained seats are less than 0.1 Percentage points apart. This list is limited to elections in which at least 1,000 votes were cast.

To provide context, the section on "Distribution of elections" shows the distribution of winning margins in different areas. Depending on the area, from 1 in 40 to 1 in 500 election contests is decided by less than 1 vote in 1,000.

According to a 2001 study of state and federal elections in the United States between 1898 and 1992, "one of every 100,000 votes cast in U.S. elections, and one of every 15,000 votes cast in state elections, "mattered" in the sense that they were cast for a candidate that officially tied or won by one vote."[1]

While not an election, a member of Congress once owed his seat to the drawing of lots. In 1902, after more than 7,000 votes at three conventions, the Democrats were unable to decide among three candidates for nomination to Texas's 12th congressional district. Two candidates put their names in a hat, drew one out and the loser agreed to withdraw and support the winner. Oscar W. Gillespie won the game of lots, the nomination and the following general election, serving in Congress for eight years.[2]

There are a variety of ways in which tied elections are settled. Some are decided by drawing lots or other games of chances. Others lead to a runoff or special election. Still others are decided by some third party such as the legislature or a high-ranking elected official. In one case in Waynetown, Indiana, in 1891, two candidates for town treasurer agreed to settle their 339–339 tie by a foot-race.[3] However, despite some fictionalized accounts, the town board overruled the agreement and determined that then-incumbent William Simms would remain in office for another term, and the proposed race never occurred.[4]

Table of close national and state elections

Tied elections

Year Country /
Election District/Race Margin
Total votes
cast for winner
1985 Australia Victoria (state) Victorian Legislative Council Nunawading 0% 0 54,821 Bob Ives tied with Rosemary Varty, but won the seat with a vote cast by the returning officer, who drew Ives' name from a hat. Adding to the drama, the seat decided control of the Legislative Council. Before Ives could take his seat, the result was subsequently voided by a Court of Disputed Returns on the grounds that 44 votes had been incorrectly excluded from the count, and the court ordered a by-election. Varty then won the by-election.[5]
2011 Switzerland Swiss federal Ticino 0% 0 23,979[6] Marco Romano and Monica Duca Widmer both had 23,979 votes.[7] Initially, a computer program was used to draw lots and Widmer was declared the winner. Following complaints and appeals, the Federal Supreme Court ruled against the Canton's decision to use a computer program for the lottery and ordered new manual lottery. This was conducted on November 25 and Marco Romano emerged as the winner.[8][9] (There were 760,995 votes cast in total for 8 seats. The PPD won two seats. Romano and Widmer, both of the PPD, were tied for the PPD's second seat.)
1994 Canada Quebec National Assembly of Quebec Saint-Jean 0% 0 16,536 Incumbent Liberal Michel Charbonneau tied with Parti Québécois candidate Roger Paquin. Consequently, a new vote was held 42 days later, which Paquin won by 532 votes.[10]
1971 United States Virginia Virginia House of Delegates District 19 0% 0 16,410 The initial vote count had Republican William Moss ahead of Democrat Jim Burch by 1 vote for the sixth at-large seat in what was then a six-member district. But then a three-judge circuit court ruled that one of the ballots was "defaced" because the names of two candidates were crossed out with the notation "Do not desire to vote for these two". They did this even though the person who cast this vote (which was known because it was a signed absentee ballot) testified that he intended to vote for Moss. Throwing out the ballot created a tied vote.[11] The names of the two candidates were placed in sealed envelopes, and a blindfolded Elections Board chairman plucked one from a silver loving cup. Moss won.[12] Two years later Moss would lose re-election by 0.03% of the vote.[13]
2003 Canada Quebec National Assembly of Quebec Champlain 0% 0 11,852 PQ candidate Noëlla Champagne tied with Liberal Pierre Brouillette. Consequently, a new vote was held 36 days later, which Champagne won by 642 votes.[14]
2017 United States Virginia Virginia House of Delegates District 94 0% 0 11,608 The initial vote count had incumbent Republican David Yancey ahead by 13 votes. After a canvas that included provisional ballots, Yancey's lead was cut to 10 votes.[15] Following a recount, Yancey trailed Democratic challenger Shelly Simonds by one vote out of 23,215 cast.[16][17] After review by a three-judge panel appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court, a disputed ballot that had been excluded as an overvote was instead counted for Yancey and the race was certified as a tie with the candidates to draw lots to determine a winner.[18][16] The drawing of lots was later postponed after Simonds asked a state court to reconsider the disputed ballot.[19] On January 4, 2018, the names of each candidate was placed inside a film canister, both canisters were placed in a bowl and one canister was drawn at random by State Board of Elections chairman James Alcorn. David Yancey won the draw and the seat, giving Republicans control of the House 51–49.[20] Had Simonds won instead, a 50–50 split would have prompted a power sharing arrangement between the two major parties.[21] In 2019, the two met in a rematch in a redrawn district and Simonds won.
2010 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives 6th Worcester district 0% 0 6,587 After Peter J. Durant was initially declared the winner by 1 vote, judge Richard T. Tucker ruled that one absentee ballot that was initially discarded was to be counted for Geraldo Alicea creating an exact tie.[22] Six months later, a special election was held where Durant beat Alicea by 56 votes.[23]
1963 Canada Quebec House of Commons of Canada Pontiac—Témiscamingue 0% 0 6,448 Paul Martineau (Progressive Conservative) and Paul-Oliva Goulet (Liberal) each received 6,448 votes in the Québec electoral district of Pontiac—Témiscamingue. Because the vote was tied, the returning officer cast his vote for Martineau.[24]
1988 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts Senate Democratic Primary Plymouth District 0% 0 4,543 George F. Buckley and Michael Creedon tied, but Creedon secured the nomination and later the seat.[25]
1996 United States South Dakota South Dakota House of Representatives District 12 0% 0 4,191 Four candidates Democrats John R. McIntyre and Dick Casey; and, Republicans Hal Wick and Judy Rost were contesting two seats. In the initial tally, they had respectively 4195 (24.73%), 3889 (22.93%), 4191 (24.71%), and 4687 (27.63%) votes (16,962 total votes). McIntyre was initially declared to have been elected by a four-vote margin. Wick petitioned for a recount in accordance with SDCL 12-21-12. The recount was conducted in the presence of representatives for both candidates. The results were certified on December 4, 1996, and showed that Wick had been elected by one vote: 4191 (24.71%), 3891 (22.94%), 4192 (24.71%), 4689 (27.64%) (16,963 total votes). The South Dakota Supreme Court examined several ballots and invalidated one vote for Wick. The House then voted, mostly along party lines, 46–20 to seat Wick.[26][27][28] Remarkably, two years later, McIntyre and Wick would again tie (at least on the initial count).
1999 Canada Nova Scotia Nova Scotia House of Assembly Shelburne 0% 0 3,206 Progressive Conservative Cecil O'Donnell tied with Liberal Clifford Huskilson (3,206–3,206).[29] The returning officer broke the tie by pulling Mr. O'Donnell's name from a box.[30]
1886 United Kingdom House of Commons of the United Kingdom Ashton-under-Lyne 0% 0 3,049 Conservative incumbent John Edmund Wentworth Addison and Liberal challenger (and English cricketer[31]) Alexander Butler Rowley were tied, 3,049–3,049. The Returning Officer (and also mayor[32][33][34]) James Walker[35] broke the tie by casting a vote for Addison.[36][37][38][39]
1978 United States Rhode Island Rhode Island Senate Senatorial District 29 0% 0 4,110 Both Russell and Flynn had exactly 4,110 votes in the general election. On Jan 9th, 1979, a special election was held where Flynn beat Russell 2,546–2,038.[40]
1980 United States New Hampshire New Hampshire Senate Republican Primary District 16 0% 0 2,438 Incumbent Frank Wageman found himself in a tied election after a hospitalization left him unable to vote in the election. Two numbered balls were placed in a black leather bottle, and the first one to roll out was the winner. Wageman's ball came out first and challenger Eleanor P. Podles demanded a recount that did not change the outcome.[41] Podles won a rematch in 1982.
1994 United States Wyoming Wyoming House of Representatives District 21 0% 0 1,941 Republican Randall Luthi and independent candidate Larry Call each received 1,941 votes in a state House race in northern Lincoln County. On live TV (NBC's Today Show) Secretary of State Kathy Karpan drew a ping pong ball with Luthi's name out of Governor Sullivan's rumpled cowboy hat.[42][43]
1826 United States Pennsylvania United States House of Representatives Pennsylvania's 2nd District 0% 0 1,597 Adams Federalist John Sergeant and Jacksonian Henry Horn tied at 1,597, with a 3rd candidate getting 1,391 votes. The governor treated it as a vacancy, but did not call a new election until both Sergeant and Horn relinquished their claims. Sergeant defeated former Representative Joseph Hemphill in the special election a year later and was seated. Residents of the district contested the election, arguing that ballots were found that would've swung the regular election to Horn, but the House dismissed the contest because Horn had voluntarily relinquished his rights.[44]
2006 United States Alaska Alaska House of Representatives Democratic Primary District 37 0% 0 1,534 After a recount, a state Supreme Court challenge and wrangling over five disputed ballots the race was decided by a coin toss, using a special coin with a walrus on one side and the seal of Alaska on the other.[45] Bryce Edgmon, the winner of the coin toss, went on to be Speaker of the Alaska House of Representatives.[46]
1887 Canada House of Commons of Canada Joliette 0% 0 1,532 Conservative Édouard Guilbault tied Liberal F. Neveu, but won the seat after the deciding vote was cast by the returning officer.[47]
1896 Canada House of Commons of Canada Assiniboia West 0% 0 1,502 Conservative Nicholas Flood Davin tied independent John K. McInnes. The deciding vote in Davin's favor was cast by the returning officer after the two candidates tied.[48]
2015 Canada Legislative Assembly of Prince Edward Island Vernon River-Stratford 0% 0 1,173 On Declaration Day, Mary Ellen McInnis and Alan McIsaac had 1,172–1,174 votes. McInnis filed a petition for a judicial recount. Provincial Court Judge John Douglas discovered that a vote for Ms. McInnis was mistakenly put in the pile for Mr. McIsaac. The result of the recount was thus that they were tied 1,173–1,173. Pursuant to section 102 of the Election Act, the toss of a coin was completed by the Returning Officer. The results of the coin toss were in favour of Alan McIsaac.[49][50][51][52][53]

List of close election results in single-winner, majoritarian and STV races

Year Country /
Election District/Race Margin
Total votes
cast for winner
1974 United States New Hampshire United States Senate New Hampshire 0.000901% 2 110,926[54] On election day, Republican Louis Wyman won with a margin of just 355 votes out of more than 220,000. His opponent John A. Durkin then won the recount by 10 votes. After a second recount, Wyman won by just 2 votes. The Democratic-controlled Senate at first agreed to seat Wyman, who served the last 3 days of Noris Cotton's term, but began to deliberate again when the new Senate took office. When the Senate deadlocked for months, Durkin agreed to Wyman's proposal for a new election. The Senate declared the seat vacant and the governor appointed Cotton to hold the seat for six weeks until a special election on September 16. Durkin won the special by 27,000 votes.[55]
1839 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts gubernatorial Governor of Massachusetts 0.00098% 1 51,034[56] Marcus Morton and the incumbent Whig Edward Everett received 51,034–50,725 votes respectively, with the remaining 307 votes went to scattering. The constitution of Massachusetts required a candidate to receive a majority of votes cast in order to win the office outright; otherwise, the legislature would have the authority to choose among the leading candidates. Morton exceeded this threshold by just 1 vote (50% of the 102,066 ballots cast), and had he not, the Whig controlled legislature would have been allowed to select the governor. The legislature could successfully deprive Morton of a majority if it disqualified the return from the town of Westfield. There was, moreover, an argument for doing so: the Westfield return was irregular and improper under the laws of the state because the attestation of its authenticity was not under seal. Instead, the return had been sealed first, and only afterward affixed with an attestation from the relevant local official. Despite pressure from partisans to contest this result, Everett refused. Historian and former Ohio Solicitor General Edward B. Foley notes: "In the annals of American history there is not an equivalent example of a candidate in a major statewide election willing to forgo a victory so tantalizingly within reach based on, first, such a narrow margin and, second, such a readily available legal argument for invalidating disputed ballots."[57]
2020 United States Iowa United States House of Representatives Iowa's 2nd District 0.00152% 6 196,964 In the House election, Democrat Rita Hart lost by only 6 votes to Republican Mariannette Miller-Meeks. Unofficial results shortly after election day showed Miller-Meeks with a 282 vote lead. Official results, which included late-arriving absentee ballots and corrected canvassing errors, narrowed that lead to 44. A recount narrowed that vote still further to 6 votes. Hart chose not to appeal the election in the "contest court", arguing that Iowa law didn't allow enough time as from the November 30 certification date, the court would've had only 8 days to organize and then carry out the recount.[58] Instead she contested the election in the House of Representatives, asking for another recount, on the grounds that 22 votes were erroneously excluded due to poll worker error (and Iowa law had no way to remedy this) and that the recount was not done uniformly over the district.[59] Miller-Meeks was provisionally sworn in and requested the House Committee on Administration dismiss the contest, but that request was denied. On March 31, after several Democratic House members publicly stated that they wouldn't vote to change the result, Hart withdrew her contest.[60] It was the 2nd closest House race in US history and the closest since 1824.
1984 United States Indiana United States House of Representatives Indiana's 8th District 0.00171% 4 116,645 The initial count showed that Democrat Frank McCloskey had won by 72 votes, but Indiana's Republican Secretary of State refused to certify him pending a legal challenge by his Republican challenger Rick McIntyre.[61] After a tabulation error was found a month later McIntyre took the lead by 34 votes and was certified by the Secretary, even though a recount was on-going.[62] When the House opened it chose to seat neither person, but to pay them as though they were both members. The statewide recount was completed in late January and gave McIntyre a 418 vote lead, but against the Democratic-controlled House chose not to seat McIntyre, against the wishes of Republicans.[63] The House conducted their own recount, in which they made several controversial decisions, and seated McCloskey after declaring him the winner by just four votes. Republicans, who sought to declare the election void and call for a special election, staged a procedural protest and a walk out to protest what they viewed as a stolen seat.[64][65]
2013 Australia Australian Senate Western Australia 0.002125% 1 23,532[66] Before senate electoral reform in 2016, the Australian senate was elected by a series of complex preference deals. At one point the next party to be eliminated was between the Shooters and Fishers Party and the Australian Christians. The margin was effectively one vote at that point in the count, and depending on which party was ahead either the Labor Party and PUP or the Sports Party and the Greens would have been elected.

As the recount was taking place it became apparent that there were some missing ballots, which was greater than the margin, so the election was voided and a re-run was conducted in 2014.[67]

1910 United States New York (state) United States House of Representatives New York's 36th District 0.00242% 1 20,685 Charles Bennett Smith, a Democrat, defeated the incumbent, Representative De Alva S. Alexander, a Republican, by one vote, 20,685 to 20,684.[68]
1988 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts Governor's Council Democratic Primary 3rd District 0.00340% 1 14,716 Herbert L. Connolly lost to Robert B. Kennedy by one vote, and it was his own. Connolly arrived at his precinct a few minutes after the polls closed and wasn't able to vote. Kennedy won the following general.[69][70]
2003 Russia Sverdlovsk Oblast Russian legislative Sverdlovsk Oblast District 163 0.00342% 5 73,083 Incumbent Georgy Leontyev held the seat by five votes,[71] despite allegations of vote manipulations, later rejected by the Supreme Court [72]
1919 Australia Australian House of Representatives Ballarat 0.00369% 1 13,569 Edwin Kerby defeated incumbent MP Charles McGrath by a single vote. The result was voided by the Court of Disputed Returns, which criticised the "almost incredible carelessness" of the electoral officers. McGrath won the subsequent by-election.[73]
1997 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Winchester 0.00383% 2 26,100 In the General Election, Mark Oaten led Gerry Malone by 2 votes (26,100–26,098).[74] A total of 55 ballot papers were excluded from the count for want of official mark, of which 18 were votes in favor of Oaten and 22 in favor of Malone. Therefore, Malone would have had a majority of 2 votes had they been included in the count. On hearing an Election Petition in the High Court on 6 October 1997 Lord Justice Brooke and Mr. Justice Gage ordered that there should be a fresh election. The petition also stated that four voters cast tendered ballots after claiming to have been impersonated, but the impersonators could not be found and the allegation was not pursued.[75] In the subsequent by-election, Oaten easily beat Malone (37,006–15,450).
1992 Philippines Philippine Senate At-large 0.00398% 966 3,964,966 The Philippine Senate is elected via multiple non-transferable vote. The 24th placed candidate, Butz Aquino of LDP, edged out Alfredo Bengzon of Lakas to win out the last Senate seat.
1882 United States Virginia United States House of Representatives Virginia's 1st District 0.00476% 1 10,505 The initial tally had incumbent Democrat George T. Garrison up 70 votes on Readjuster challenger Robert M. Mayo. The Readjuster-controlled State Board of Canvassers then threw out the votes of Gloucester County and Hog Island precinct (Garrison had received all 14 votes from Hog Island). The new totals then had Mayo up one: 10,505–10,504. (A third candidate, the Republican John W. Woltz, received 168 votes).[76] Mayo was seated and served for a little over a year, but Garrison contested the result. The Committee of Elections then chose to accept the Gloucester County and Hog Island ballots and the House voted unanimously to seat Garrison.[77]
1868 United States North Carolina United States House of Representatives North Carolina's 7th District 0.004841% 1 10,329 Plato Durham (D) was initially declared elected over Alexander H. Jones (R) with an 18-vote majority: 10,347–10,329. When Republicans began to complain of fraud, the votes were sent to General Canby at Charleston, who threw out enough for Jones to defeat Durham. Jones was then elected by 1 vote, 10,329–10,328.[78][79][80][81][82]
2004 United States Washington (state) Washington gubernatorial Governor of Washington 0.004842% 133 1,373,361[83] Democrat Christine Gregoire defeated Republican Dino Rossi, following two recounts, after the initial count and first recount showed Rossi as the winner.
1931 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Ilkeston 0.00569% 2 17,587 A.J. Flint (National Labour) gained the seat from George Oliver (Labour). After the polls closed it became clear that the Ilkeston election was very close. There were four recounts overnight, and the Returning Officer decided to call a halt in the early hours to return later in the day. At the end of the fifth recount, the Returning Officer declared Flint elected by a majority of two votes over the sitting Labour MP. This result remains the joint smallest majority in any individual constituency election since universal suffrage.[84]
2002 Republic of Ireland Irish general Limerick West 0.00584% 1 8,564[85][86] Going into the fourth (and final) count, sitting Fine Gael TD Dan Neville trailed his party colleague Michael Finucane, also an outgoing TD, 7,862 to 7,867 in the race for the third and final seat. He picked up 702 votes transferred from the eliminated candidates, six more than his opponent, to win by one vote. Finucane requested a recount, but when it became clear that the margin of his defeat would only increase, he requested the returning officer to terminate the recount, thus leaving the official margin of defeat at one vote. "I am happy enough with the findings and I accept it. Democracy has spoken and I am sure there are many people out there feeling sorry at this stage that they didn't vote for me to tip me over the line."[87][88]
1854 United States Illinois United States House of Representatives Illinois' 7th District 0.00592% 1 8,452 On the initial tally, incumbent Democrat James C. Allen was ahead of challenger Republican William B. Archer by one vote: 8452–8451.

Archer contested. Livingston precinct had initially certified Allen and Archer's votes as 47–100 (in that precinct). But they later certified that they had made a mistake and the vote (in that precinct) should instead have been 46–102. In which case the overall vote should have been 8,451–8,453.

The Committee of Elections concluded that Allen had won by at least 1 and probably 2 votes and recommended that he be seated. However, the House voted 94–90 that Allen was not qualified and also voted 91–89 that Archer would not be seated either. The seat was thus vacated.[89][90]

A special election in 1856 was a rematch between Allen and Archer, and Allen soundly defeated Archer 13,081–10,136.[91]

2000 South Korea South Korean legislature Gwangju 0.00614% 3 16,675 GNP Park Hyuk-kyu defeated MDP Moon Hak-jin by an official tally of 3-vote difference.[92]
1966 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Peterborough 0.00626% 3 23,944 Conservative Party incumbent Sir Harmar Nicholls defeated Labour Party challenger Michael Ward 23,944–23,941. Ward would again challenge and lose in 1970 and Feb 1974, but would win in Oct 1974.
1847 United States Indiana United States House of Representatives Indiana's 6th District 0.0067% 1 7,455 Whig George G. Dunn defeated Democrat David M. Dobson 7,455–7,454.[93]
2017 United Kingdom United Kingdom general North East Fife 0.00727% 2 13,743 Stephen Gethins of the Scottish National Party saw off a challenge by Elizabeth Riches of the Liberal Democrats to retain the seat of former leader Menzies Campbell.[94]
1962 United States Minnesota Minnesota gubernatorial Governor of Minnesota 0.00734% 91 619,842 The vote count after election day had Governor Elmer L. Andersen in the lead by 142 votes. Then-Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag went to court and won the right for a recount.[95] After the recount, it was determined that Rolvaag of the DFL had defeated Andersen, Republican, by 91 votes out of over 1.2 million cast. Rolvaag collected 619,842 votes to Andersen's 619,751.
2020 United States North Carolina North Carolina Judicial Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court 0.00744% 401 2,695,951 Following a count, recount and hand-to-eye recount in 1% of precincts, Incumbent Chief Justice Cheri Beasley was defeated by Justice Paul Newby. The result meant that Republicans won all 8 statewide judicial races in the 2020 general election.[96]
1916 United States Iowa United States House of Representatives Iowa's 11th District 0.00768% 4 26,033 In the initial vote count, the sitting member Republican George C. Scott won by a majority of 131 votes, which Thomas J. Steele contested, alleging failure to count votes cast for the contestant and illegal counting of votes for the contestee. After a series of recounts, during which the lead switched back and forth and the contest was even tied at one point, the tally changed to 26,033–26,029 and after some legal wrangling (about lost ballots and votes by Iowa National Guardsmen serving at the Texas border), Scott was declared elected by the Democratically-controlled House.[97]
1991 United States Virginia Virginia House of Delegates District 53 0.00770% 1 6,493 After a recount, Jim Scott won by a single vote, earning him the nickname "Landslide Jim".[98]
2018 United States Kentucky Kentucky House of Representatives 13th Representative District 0.0079% 1 6,319 In the initial count, Democrat Jim Glenn defeated Republican incumbent DJ Johnson by 1 vote, which was confirmed by a recanvass. Johnson filed for a recount, and Glenn was seated on January 8, 2019. The House later ordered another recount which was carried out over the weekend of January 30.[99][100] Following that recount, Glenn emerged as the winner by 3 votes, but then the County Board of Electors voted to reinstate one of the votes taken from Johnson earlier in the day and later to count five of 17 rejected absentee ballot. The result was a 6,323-6,323 tie.[101][102] On February 8, 2019, when Glenn threatened to sue if a coin toss were held and he lost, Johnson withdrew his challenge, thus settling the election.[103]
2014 United States North Carolina North Carolina District Court District 5 0.00813% 5 30,746 Lindsey McKee Luther defeated Kent Harrell for North Carolina District Court, District 5 by five votes: 30,746–30,741.[104]
1974 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Carmarthen 0.00851% 3 17,165 Labour Party incumbent Gwynoro Jones defeated Plaid Cymru candidate Gwynfor Evans 17,165–17,162.[105] Jones had also beaten Evans in 1970, but would lose to Evans in Oct 1974.
2002 United States Washington (state) Washington House of Representatives Republican Primary 26th Legislative District 0.00852% 1 5,870 Ed Mitchell defeated Kevin Entze by one vote: 5,870–5,869.[106][107] Adding insult to injury, one of Entze's friends admitted that they never got their ballot mailed. "He left his ballot on his kitchen counter and it never got sent out," Entze said.[108] Mitchell went on to narrowly lose the general election.[109]
1912 United States Kansas Kansas gubernatorial Governor of Kansas 0.00866% 29 167,437 George H. Hodges defeated the popular Republican Arthur Capper by a razor-thin margin of 29 votes out of 359,684 cast.[110][111][112]
1948 United States Texas United States Senate Democratic Primary Runoff Texas 0.00880% 87 494,191 Lyndon B. Johnson is declared the winner over Coke R. Stevenson despite suspicion about 202 votes reported six days after the election from Precinct 13 of Jim Wells County.
1996 United States Vermont Vermont Senate Rutland County 0.00911% 2 10,978[113] There were six candidates for the three Rutland County Senate seats. On the night of the election, John H. Bloomer, Jr. and Cheryl M. Hooker received the first and second highest vote totals. Hull Maynard received the third highest total with 10,952 votes and Thomas Macaulay received the fourth highest total with 10,934 votes.

Macaulay petitioned for a recount, whereupon the Rutland Superior Court determined that Maynard still beat Macaulay by two votes: 10,978–10,976. Macaulay's petition for further relief was dismissed by the Senate.[114][115][116]

2000 United States Florida United States presidential Florida 0.00921% 537 2,912,790 Republican George W. Bush was ahead of Democrat Al Gore after the initial count by 1,784 votes. After a mandatory statewide recount his lead was cut to 327.[117] After military and overseas ballots were added in, his lead increased to 930.[118] An additional hand recount was halted by the United States Supreme Court which resulted in the certified margin. Florida was the tipping point state for Bush's presidential victory.
2001 Italy Italian Senate Marino 0.00929% 14 62,330 Olive Tree candidate Severino Lavagnini was elected but the defeated House of Freedoms candidate won a seat via levelling seats.
1982 United States New Hampshire New Hampshire Senate District 8 0.00934% 1 5,352 Incumbent George Wiggins (R) defeated Fred Belair (D) by 1 vote.[119]
2010 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Fermanagh and South Tyrone 0.00939% 4 21,304 Michelle Gildernew (Sinn Féin) defeated independent Rodney Connor.[120]
2022 United States California California State Senate District 16 0.009495% 13 68,461 Democratic incumbent Melissa Hurtado defeated Republican David Shepard by 13 votes.[121]
1970 United States Missouri Missouri House of Representatives District 116 0.01037% 1 4,819 Both the initial count and a recount showed that incumbent Gus Salley (R-Warsaw) had defeated Morran D. Harris (D-Osceola), though a clerical error cost Salley 100 votes, indicating the real result was not nearly as close.[1] Harris brought the case to the House Election Committee to decide, but they chose not to overturn the results.[122]
1832 United States Maryland United States presidential Maryland 0.01044% 4 19,160 National Republican Henry Clay carried Maryland by four votes over Democratic President Andrew Jackson, but this is trivial since all of the electors were chosen based on the outcome in four districts. Had Jackson won the statewide vote it wouldn't have changed the electoral college vote.[123]
1910 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Exeter 0.0105% 1 4,777 Henry Duke (Conservative), the incumbent at the time of the general election, re-gained the seat from Harold St Maur (Liberal) on an election petition in 1911. The court changed the original result (under which the Liberal had won by four votes). The revised result was the smallest numerical majority in a UK Parliamentary election in the twentieth century.[124]
2015 United States Mississippi Mississippi House of Representatives District 79 0.0109% 1 4,585 After Democratic incumbent Blaine Eaton tied Republican Mark Tullos with 4,589 votes each, he won re-election by drawing the long straw.[125] However, Tullos asked the State House to review the results, which they did, resulting in them throwing out five affidavit ballots for Eaton. The ballots were cast by people who had moved within 30 days prior to the election and hadn't updated their address. The vote that seated Tullos was largely a party-line vote and gave Republicans a super-majority.[126] Which five ballots were invalidated was never publicly stated, but they were all for Eaton and so the committee stopped evaluation the votes because even if the other four were for Tullos and also invalid, Tullos would still win by 1 vote. The final official count is unknown, and the count here is based on that decision.[127]
2022 United States Arizona Arizona general Arizona Attorney General 0.01116% 280 1,254,809 Democrat Kris Mayes originally defeated Republican Abraham Hamadeh by 511 votes, but after a recount, her lead narrowed to 280 votes.[128]
2001 Cape Verde Cape Verdean presidential President of Cape Verde 0.0112% 17 75,828[129] Pedro Pires (African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde) defeated Carlos Veiga (Movement for Democracy) in the second round of the election after neither won more than 50% in the first round.[130]
1924 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Leeds, West 0.0114% 3 13,057 Labour Party candidate Thomas Stamford defeated Conservative Party candidate A.F.G. Renton 13,057–13,054. This was the lowest margin of victory in a Leeds parliamentary election.[131]
1908 United States Massachusetts United States House of Representatives Massachusetts's 10th District 0.0121% 4 16,533[132] Representative Joseph F. O'Connell, a Democrat, defeated J. Mitchel Galvin, a Republican, by four votes, 16,553 to 16,549.[133] The record does not disclose the official returns, but a recount before a bipartisan board under the laws of Massachusetts gave O'Connell 16,553 votes, Galvin 16,549 votes, and two other candidates 1,380 and 1,187 votes, respectively, a plurality of 4 votes for Galvin, the sitting Member.[134]
1923 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Devon, Tiverton 0.0122% 3 12,303 Liberal Party incumbent Francis Dyke Acland defeated Conservative Party candidate Gilbert John Acland-Troyte 12,303–12,300. Acland had also defeated Acland-Troyte in the by-election earlier that same year, but Acland-Troyte would defeat Acland in 1924.[135]
1972 Canada Ontario Canadian federal Ontario 0.0123% 4 16,328 Liberal incumbent Norman Cafik defeated Progressive Conservative Frank Charles McGee.[136] A PC win in this district would have resulted in a 108–108 tie with the Liberals in the overall seat count.
2018 Italy Italian Chamber of Deputies Guidonia Montecelio 0.01269% 19 55,360 M5S candidate Sebastiano Cubeddu defeated CDX candidate Barbara Saltamartini.
2008 United States Minnesota United States Senate Minnesota 0.01287% 312 1,212,629 After the first count, Norm Coleman edged out Al Franken by 215 votes, but following a state mandated recount, Al Franken defeated Norm Coleman by 225.[137] Coleman contested the recount, after which Franken's lead grew to 312. After the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously rejected Coleman's appeals, he conceded the race to Franken on June 30, 2009, 238 days after the election.[138]
1929 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Cheshire, Northwich 0.01292% 4 15,477 In this three-way race, Conservative Party incumbent Lord Colum Crichton-Stuart defeated Labour Party candidate Mrs. Barbara Ayrton-Gould 15,477–15,473. Chrichton-Stuart also defeated Mrs. Gould in 1924 and 1931.[139]
1994 United States Connecticut United States House of Representatives Connecticut's 2nd district 0.0133% 21 79,188 In this three-way race between Democrat Sam Gejdenson, Republican Edward Munster, and Connecticut Party candidate David Bingham, the initial official tally was 79,169–79,167–27,729 (186,065 total votes).[140] Following a recount, Gejdenson and Munster were 79,160–79,156 with 186,030 total votes cast. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled instead that the correct final tally was 79,188–79,167, awarding the seat to Gejdenson.[141] (However the Court did not mention what the correct total number of votes cast was.) Munster originally contested the election in the Republican-controlled House, but withdrew his contest citing the expense and time it would take.[142]
2016 United States Vermont Vermont Senate Democratic Primary Washington County District 0.0135% 1 3,709 Superior Court Judge Timothy Tomasi determined that Francis K. Brooks defeated fourth-place finisher Ashley Hill by one vote in the Democratic primary for the three-member at-large Washington County district, 3,709 to 3,708.[143] The victory hinged on a disputed ballot from Worcester that Tomasi determined contained a vote for Brooks, but not one for Hill.[143] Brooks went on to finish third in the general election that fall, unseating longtime incumbent Republican Bill Doyle by 191 votes.[144]
1968 Australia South Australia South Australian House of Assembly Seat of Millicent 0.0138% 1 3,635[145] On 2 March 1968, Martin Cameron contested the seat of Millicent for the House of Assembly, standing against the sitting member, and minister in the Labor Cabinet, Des Corcoran. Narrowly losing the seat by one vote (3635–3634), the Liberal and Country League challenged the decision and the election was referred to the South Australian Court of Disputed Returns. The court ordered a by-election, which was held on 22 June. This was won comfortably by Corcoran (3994–3564), the Dunstan-led Australian Labor Party running the campaign on electoral reform.[146]
1930 Canada Canadian federal Yamaska 0.0143% 1 3,505 Liberal incumbent Aimé Boucher defeated Conservative Paul-François Comtois.[147] The riding result was later declared void, and Boucher won the by-election in 1933 by 84 votes (0.1%).
1968 Canada Canadian federal Leeds 0.01478% 4 13,536 Progressive Conservative Desmond Code defeated Liberal incumbent John Matheson.[148]
1945 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Worcester 0.01479% 4 13,523 In this three-way race, Conservative Party candidate George Ward defeated Labour Party/Co-operative Party candidate J. Evans 13,523–13,519.[149]
2020 Australia Queensland Queensland Legislative Assembly Bundaberg 0.0148% 9 30,287 Australian Labor Party candidate won seat, from sitting Liberal National Party MP, by just 9 votes, after distribution of minor candidate preferences. The margin had been initially reported as 11 votes, but was reduced to 9 votes after a formal recount.[150]
1949 Canada Canadian federal Annapolis—Kings 0.0152% 4 13,202 Liberal Angus Alexander Elderkin defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent George Nowlan.[151]
2020 United States Florida Florida State Senate District 37 0.01529% 32 104,630 After the initial tally, challenger Ileana Garcia led incumbent Jose Javier Rodriguez by 21 votes. An automatic hand recount extended that lead to 32 votes. The race was marred by fraud as a 3rd party candidate, also with the last name Rodriquez, received more than 6000 votes after being funded by a mysterious donor who funded an ad campaign that seemed designed to confuse voters.[152] A few months after the election the candidate, Alex Rodríguez, pleaded guilty to accepting illegal campaign donations and lying on campaign documents and agreed to testify against former Sen. Frank Artiles who had been charged with felony campaign fraud charges in March 2021.[153]
1968 United States Wisconsin Wisconsin House of Representatives District 25 0.01533% 2 6,523 Official count showed a margin of 3 vote for Joseph L. Looby (D) over Wilmer R. Waters (R), but it was 1 after a recount. A case was filed with the circuit court, where the judge declared the margin was two votes. An election committee investigated, but could make no proclamation of the true margin. After Waters appealed to the Republican controlled assembly, it voted unanimously to seat Looby.[1][154]
2002 United States Connecticut Connecticut House of Representatives District 65 0.0155% 1 3,236 Republican Anne Ruwet defeated Democrat John S. Kovaleski by one vote (3,236–3,235).[155]
1922 United States New York (state) United States House of Representatives New York's 21st District 0.0156% 10 32,089 Sitting Member Royal H. Weller had been returned by an official plurality of 245 votes, which the contestant Martin C. Ansorge contested. Following a recount, the tally was 32,089–32,079 and Weller was declared elected.[156]
1964 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Brighton Kemptown 0.0157% 7 22,308 Labour Party challenger Dennis Hobden defeated incumbent Conservative Party David James 22,308–22,301.[157]
2022 North Carolina 2022 North Carolina state legislature Republican primary North Carolina House of Representatives District 115 0.0159% 1 3,146 After a hand-eye recount that added one vote to his total, Pratik Bhakta defeated Sherry M. Higgins.[158]
1870 United States Indiana United States House of Representatives Indiana's 4th District 0.0159% 4 12,561 Republican Jeremiah M. Wilson defeated Democrat David S. Gooding by 4 votes: 12561–12557.[159] Gooding contested. The Committee's majority report gave Wilson a "clear legal majority of 8", while the minority report gave Gooding a majority of 17. The US House then voted 105–64 (71 abstentions) "on strictly party lines" to reject the minority report, accept the majority report, and thereby seat Wilson.[160][161][162]
1950 United States Maryland Maryland Senate Garrett county 0.0162% 1 3,080 Republican incumbent Neil C. Fraley defeated Democratic challenger Bernard I. Gonder by one vote: 3,080–3,079.[163][164][165][166] Gonder contested the result but to no avail.[167]
1983 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Leicester South 0.0163% 7 21,424 Conservative Party challenger Derek Spencer defeated Labour Party incumbent Jim Marshall 21,424–21,417.
1988 Canada Canadian federal London—Middlesex 0.0165% 8 18,534 Progressive Conservative MP Terry Clifford narrowly edged out Liberal Garnet Bloomfield.[168]
2005 United States Virginia Virginia General Virginia Attorney General 0.01663% 323 970,886 Bob McDonnell was certified as the victor over Creigh Deeds following a recount.[169]
1988 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts Governor's Council Democratic Primary 3rd District 0.0170% 5 14,709 In the recount, Robert B. Kennedy led Herbert Connolly by one vote: 14,716–14,715.[170] (Connolly had actually failed to vote for himself.)[171] In the recount, Kennedy again led by one vote: 14,691–14,690. Connolly contested the result. The Supreme Judicial Court considered 116 contested votes and decided ultimately that Kennedy won by five votes: 14,709–14,704.[172]
1829 United States Kentucky United States House of Representatives Kentucky's 2nd District 0.0179% 1 5,591 Jacksonsian candidate Nicholas D. Coleman defeated Adams candidate Adam Beatty 2520–2519.[173]
2018 Pakistan Pakistani general Mardan-II 0.0181% 35 78,911 Awami National Party's Ameer Haider Hoti defeated Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Atif Khan 78,911-78,876.[174]
2011 Canada Canadian federal Montmagny—L'Islet—Kamouraska—Rivière-du-Loup 0.0189% 9 17,285 Conservative incumbent Bernard Généreux was initially declared the winner by 311 votes. Subsequently, the returning officer determined that approximately 300 votes for the New Democratic candidate, François Lapointe, had been allocated to the Green Party candidate in error. After the correction, Lapointe was declared elected by 5 votes, prompting an automatic judicial recount. As a result of this recount, Lapointe was confirmed as the victor over Généreux by 9 votes, 17,285-17,276.[175]
1936 United States New Hampshire United States House of Representatives New Hampshire's 1st District 0.0193% 20 51,702 After the initial count, Republican Arthur B. Jenks was declared the winner by 550 votes, however a recount left the vote tied at 51,690 votes each. Both parties contested ballots, 108 in total, to the state ballot-law commission which after ruling on each determined that Alphonse Roy had won 51,695-51,678. After those hearings were over, Jenks argued that there was a 36 ballot discrepancy between those cast and those counted in Newton. The ballot-law commission called for another recount, finding the count was now 51,702 to 51,678, but also that 34 ballots were missing and that they should be awarded to Jenks making him the winner by 10 votes. Roy contested, and though Jenks wasn't sworn in until 2 days after Congress met, he did take office. During Roy's contest the majority of the Committee on Elections found that though there was a discrepancy between the ballots and the tally sheet, there was no evidence that any ballots had disappeared due to fraud or mistake and that in such a conflict the ballots should be considered the best evidence of the votes cast; and they found that four additional ballots should be awarded to Jenks raising his total to 51,682. The minority of the committee argued that they could establish both by testimony and the tally sheets that more people had voted in Newton than there were ballots to count; that in every race in Newton Republicans had lost 34 votes in the recount and Democrats had lost zero; and that the number of ballots (used and unused) returned to the state was 34 lower than what was sent. In the end the Democratically-controlled House decided to accept the majority's position, and on June 9, 1938 Jenks was removed from office and Roy was seated. Jenks then won election five months later and served until 1943.[176][177]
2003 Somaliland Somaliland presidential President of Somaliland 0.0195% 80 205,595 Dahir Riyale Kahin, of the For Unity, Democracy, and Independence party narrowly defeated the Peace, Unity, and Development Party's Ahmed M. Mahamoud Silanyo in a three-way race.[178][unreliable source?]
1974 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Bodmin 0.0196% 9 20,283 Liberal challenger Paul Tyler defeated Conservative Party incumbent Robert Hicks 20,283–20,274.[179]
2001 Italy Italian Senate Rome Centre 0.0196% 29 68,773 House of Freedoms candidate Giulio Maceratini was elected but the defeated The Olive Tree Tana De Zulueta candidate won a seat via levelling seats.
2006 United States Oklahoma Oklahoma House of Representatives District 25 0.0208% 2 4,798 Initially Democrat Darrel Nemecek beat Republican Todd Thomsen by two votes for the Oklahoma House of Representatives seat in its 25th district. But during the recount, a Hughes County judge threw out four votes for Nemecek when it was discovered the voters who cast the contested ballots were not registered to vote in the district. Though Nemecek argued that the straight-party option was confusing and voter intent was clear on some ballots that were not counted for him, Thomsen was declared the winner and sworn in.[180][181][182]
2004 United States Virginia Commonwealth's Attorney Special Election Radford District 0.0211% 1 2,375 Chris E. Rehak defeated Patrick Moore by 1 vote, and a recount didn't change the margin.[183]
1820 United States Maryland United States House of Representatives Maryland's 6th District 0.02136% 1 2,341 The race for Maryland's 6th District House Seat was originally declared a tie, and so the Governor and Council of Maryland - in what they thought was accordance of the law - decided to seat Jeremiah Cosden. Phillip Reed, who like Cosden was a Democratic-Republican, contested the election. The House decided that the Governor and Council were not allowed to choose a winner; that two votes for Reed that were excluded ought to count and that one that was counted for him was illegal. As a result Cosden, who had been seated for 15 days, was removed and Reed was seated for the remainder of the term.[44][184]
2021 United States Florida United States House of Representatives Democratic Primary Florida's 20th District 0.02144% 5 11,662 In the Democratic primary for the chance to replace Alcee Hastings who had died in April, healthcare executive Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick defeated Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness by just 5 votes. The election day results had Cherfilus-McCormick ahead by 12 votes, but a recount narrowed that lead to 5.[185]
1896 Canada Canadian federal Ontario North 0.0215% 1 2,328 Liberal-Conservative John Alexander McGillivray defeated Patrons of Industry Duncan Graham.[48]
2022 United States New York (state) New York State Assembly New York's 99th State Assembly district 0.021575% 8 18,539 Democrat Chris Eachus defeated Republican Kathryn Luciani by 8 votes following a hand recount.[186]
1900 Canada Canadian federal Selkirk 0.0230% 1 2,172 Liberal William Forsythe McCreary defeated Conservative John Herber Haslam.[187] This was the second time in a row that a Liberal candidate defeated his Conservative rival in this riding by a single vote.
1904 United States Maryland United States presidential Maryland 0.0233% 51 109,497 Republican President Theodore Roosevelt barely carried Maryland over Democrat Alton Parker on his way to an electoral landslide.[188]
1970 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Ipswich 0.0234% 13 27,704 Conservative Party challenger Ernle Money defeated Labour Party incumbent Dingle Foot 27,704–27,691.[189]
1959 United Kingdom United Kingdom general South East Derbyshire 0.0236% 12 25,374 Conservative Party challenger John Jackson defeated Labour Party incumbent Arthur Champion 25,374–25,362.[190]
2010 United States Texas Texas House of Representatives District 48 0.02398% 12 25,023 Election Day results gave Democrat Donna Howard a 16 vote victory. Following a recount, that lead was cut to 12 votes. Republican Dan Neil requested the election by investigated by the House of Representatives.[191] After a four-day hearing headed up by Representative Will Hartnett, Howard was found to have won the election by 4 votes and Neil ultimately dropped the contest.[191] The Secretary of State still reports an official margin of 12 votes.[192]
1964 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Reading 0.02402% 10 20,815 Conservative Party incumbent Peter Emery defeated Labour Party challenger John Lee 20,815–20,810. Lee would later defeat Emery in 1966.[193]
1822 United States New York (state) United States House of Representatives New York's 29th District 0.0241% 1 2,072 Initially, Isaac Wilson and Parmenio Adams had 2,093–2,077 votes. On a recount, the tally changed to 2,071–2,072. There were also irregularities raised. The committee of elections considered it "doubtful, from the evidence, who ought to have been returned". The House then voted 116–85 to seat Adams.[194]
2021 Canada Canadian federal Châteauguay—Lacolle 0.02412% 12 18,029 Liberal incumbent Brenda Shanahan Defeats Bloc Québécois candidate Patrick O'Hara after a recount.
1900 Canada Canadian federal Bruce North 0.02418% 1 2,065 Liberal-Conservative incumbent Alexander McNeill defeated Liberal J. E. Campbell.[187] Later the election was voided.
2022 Italy Italian Chamber of Deputies Ravenna 0.02419% 44 75,596 CDX candidate Alice Buonguerrieri defeated CSX candidate Ouidad Bakkali.
1964 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Eton and Slough 0.024255% 11 22,681 Conservative Party challenger Anthony Meyer defeated Labour Party incumbent Fenner Brockway 22,681–22,670.[195]
1923 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Durham, Sedgefield 0.0252% 6 11,093 Conservative Party challenger Leonard Ropner defeated Labour Party incumbent John Herriotts 11,093–11,087.[196]
2016 United States New York (state) New York Senate 8th District 0.0256% 33 64,499 John Brooks secured a spot in the State Senate by defeating incumbent Republican Michael Venditto.[197]
1980 United States Utah Utah House of Representatives District 44 0.0259% 1 1,931 A recount gave Republican Bob Curran a 1-vote victory over the incumbent Democrat Jen Patterson, after leading by 2 votes following the official canvass.[1][198]
1914 Australia Australian House of Representatives Werriwa 0.0266% 7 13,162 John Lynch defeated the sitting member Alfred Conroy by seven votes.[73]
1930 Canada Canadian federal Norfolk—Elgin 0.0266% 5 9,424 Liberal William H. Taylor defeated Conservative John Lawrence Stansell.[147]
1832 United States Ohio United States House of Representatives Ohio's 7th District 0.02675% 2 3,739 William Allen (later 31st Governor of Ohio) defeated General and 11th Governor of Ohio Duncan McArthur by two votes: 3739–3737.[199] According to Niles' National Register, a third candidate by the name of Murphy also won 55 votes.[200]
1899 New Zealand New Zealand House of Representatives Riccarton 0.02678% 1 1,867 Incumbent MP William Rolleston lost his seat to Liberal challenger George Warren Russell after a margin of only 1 vote separated the two on the final count.[201]
1876 United States Massachusetts United States House of Representatives Massachusetts' 3rd District 0.0268% 5 9,313[202] (depending on which count use) After much investigation, the Committee of Elections gave Walbridge Field the 5-vote majority over Benjamin Dean.
1970 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives Democratic Primary 14th Essex 0.02722% 3 5,513 In a 3-way race, Edward J. Grimley, Jr. topped Gerard A. Guilmette by 3 votes, but Guilmette ran in the general and topped him by 2.2%. The two would meet again in both the 1972 primary and general with Grimley winning both, also in close races. Guilmette would then serve two terms representing 25th Essex.[203]
1970 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives Democratic Primary 17th Worcester 0.02723% 2 3,674 Andrew Collaro defeated Robert J. Bohigian, but then Bohigian defeated him by 900+ votes in the general. Collaro and Bohigian would repeat this process in 1972 and then Collaro would represent 22nd and 15th Worcester from 1974 to 1992. Bohigian would serve until he lost re-election in 1990.[204]
2017 France French legislative (2nd round) Loiret's 4th constituency 0.0275% 8 14,561 Four-term incumbent Jean-Pierre Door of The Republicans (LR) narrowly defeated Mélusine Harlé of La République En Marche! by 8 votes in the second round. Harlé filed an appealed the result to the Constitutional Council,[205] which annulled the election on 18 December 2017 due to the number of ballots not corresponding to the number of signatures in one commune and the improper dissemination of electoral materials which was considered sufficient to potentially have altered the result of the election.[206] Door won the seat in a 2018 election.
1843 United States Indiana United States House of Representatives Indiana's 7th District 0.0276% 3 5,441 Democrat Joseph A. Wright defeated Whig Edward W. McGaughey 5,441–5,438.[207]
2022 United States New Hampshire New Hampshire House of Representatives Hillsborough 16 District 0.0278% 1 1,799 After initially being behind by 23 votes, Democrat Maxine Mosley defeated Republican Larry Gagne by 1 vote after a recount.[208]
2007 Australia Australian federal Division of McEwen 0.02794% 31 48,339 Liberal Fran Bailey defeated Labor Rob Mitchell following a recount and court challenge.[209][210]
1891 Canada Canadian federal Wentworth South 0.02821% 1 1,773 Conservative Franklin Carpenter defeated Liberal James T. Russell.[211]
1914 United States New York (state) United States House of Representatives New York's 1st District 0.02822% 10 17,726 Initial election returns handed Republican Frederick C. Hicks, a 15 vote win over Representative Lathrop Brown, a Democrat. A review of ballots by the New York Supreme Court took more than a year and when it was completed the lead was cut to four votes, 17,726 to 17,722.[133][212] A review by the Court of Appeals changed the plurality to 10 votes. Hicks was issued a certificate of election on December 21, 1915 - more than 13 months after he election, making this one of the longest in the history of the House. Brown contested the election, arguing that there were errors made by the inspectors (and that some precinct workers were drunk on election day), but the House found that they could not review the ballots unless the returns had been discredited, which they had not.[213]
1970 United States Rhode Island Rhode Island House of Representatives District 26 0.0284% 1 1,760 After recounts, Democrat John F. Hagan beat the Republican nominee Benedetto A. Cerilli.[1][214]
1997 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Torbay 0.0285% 12 21,094 Liberal Democrat candidate Adrian Sanders gained the seat from the sitting Conservative MP Rupert Allason.[215]
1887 Canada Canadian federal Haldimand 0.02865% 1 1,746 Conservative Walter Humphries Montague defeated Liberal incumbent Charles Wesley Colter.[47]
2022 United States Maryland Maryland Democratic Primary Montgomery County Executive 0.0287% 32 111,246 Marc Elrich originally beat David Blair by 35 votes, but after a recount that narrowed to 32. The race was a rematch of 2018 when Elrcih beat Blair by only 77 votes (0.103%).
1896 Canada Canadian federal Selkirk 0.02920% 1 1,713 Liberal John Alexander MacDonell defeated Conservative Hugh Armstrong.[48]
1979 United States Virginia Virginia Senate District 37 0.0293% 9 15,379 Madison Marye (D) defeated Edwin E. Stone (R) by 20 votes and a December 4, 1979 narrowed the margin to 9.[216]
1935 Canada Canadian federal Vancouver—Burrard 0.0294% 6 10,215 Liberal Gerald Grattan McGeer defeated Co-operative Commonwealth candidate Arnold Alexander Webster by 6 votes.[217]
2016 Philippines Philippine House of Representatives Northern Samar's 1st District 0.02951% 47 80,157 Liberal incumbent Raul Daza defeated Nacionalista Harlin Abayon in a rematch of the 2013 election where Abayon won by 52 votes. Daza won against Abayon's protest in the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.[218]
2020 Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia and Herzegovina mayoral Kalesija 0.0305% 5 5,572 The incumbent mayor of Kalesija, Sead Džafić, declared victory while leading in the preliminary results by 58 votes, but postal votes put his challenger, Zijad Kulanić, ahead by just one vote. After discarding invalid ballots from one polling station, Džafić took the lead again with 5 votes.[219][220]
1912 United States California United States presidential California 0.0307% 174 283,610 Former President Theodore Roosevelt, running on the Republican and Progressive ballot lines in California (Republican President William Howard Taft was not on the ballot in the state, although he did receive 3,914 write-in votes), narrowly edged out Democrat Woodrow Wilson in California, but Wilson won a landslide in the Electoral College due to divided Republican opposition.[221]
1998 United States New Hampshire New Hampshire Senate District 16 0.0318% 5 7,867 Patricia Krueger (R) defeated Stephen DeStefano (D) by 16 votes. Following a recount that was narrowed to 7. DeStefano appealed the recount but the count was only changed by 2 votes.[222]
1945 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Manchester, Rusholme 0.0324% 10 15,408 Labour Party candidate (unofficial) Hugh Lester Hutchinson defeated Conservative Party incumbent Frederick William Cundiff 15,408–15,398.[223]
1976 United States Massachusetts United States House of Representatives Democratic Primary Massachusetts's 1st District 0.0330% 13 19,694 Edward McColgan beat Edward O'Brien and then lost the general election.[224]
1917 Australia Australian House of Representatives Macquarie 0.0331% 9 13,566 Samuel Nicholls defeated the sitting member Ernest Carr by nine votes.[73]
1935 Canada Canadian federal Souris 0.0333% 3 4,504 Liberal-Progressive George William McDonald defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent Errick French Willis.[217]
2011 New Zealand New Zealand general Waitakere 0.0334% 9 13,465 National incumbent Paula Bennett retained her seat over Labour challenger Carmel Sepuloni after a judicial recount was requested by Bennett. The original official result had Sepuloni winning with a margin of 11 votes.[225][226]
1929 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Birmingham Ladywood 0.0335% 11 16,447 Labour Party candidate Wilfred Whiteley defeated Conservative Party candidate Geoffrey Lloyd 16,447–16,436.[227]
2011 United Kingdom Scotland Scottish Parliament Glasgow Anniesland 0.0339% 7 10,329 Incumbent Labour MSP Bill Butler was defeated by Bill Kidd of the Scottish National Party (SNP).[228]
1964 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Preston North 0.0340% 14 20,566 Conservative Party incumbent Julian Amery defeated Labour Party challenger Russell Kerr 20,566–20,552.[229]
2016 Jamaica Jamaican general Saint Mary South Eastern 0.0341% 5 7,324 People's National Party incumbent Winston Green defeated Jamaica Labour Party challenger Norman Alexander Dunn 7,324–7,319.[230]
2006 United States Connecticut United States House of Representatives Connecticut's 2nd District 0.0342% 83 121,248 Democratic challenger Joe Courtney was up 167 votes on Republican incumbent Rob Simmons after the initial vote.[231] On the recount, Courtney remained the victor by 83 votes: 121,248–121,165.[232]
1955 United States Virginia Virginia House of Delegates District 55 0.0346% 2 2,891 John A. Mackenzie (D) defeated William J. Moody (D)[233]
2020 United States New York (state) United States House of Representatives New York's 22nd District 0.0349% 109 156,098 Republican Claudia Tenney, after a lengthy set of recounts and court cases, defeated Anthony Brindisi by 109 votes in a race that wasn't decided until early February. When the polls initially closed, Tenney held a large 28,422-vote lead based on the in-person vote. But as mail-in ballots poured in, her lead dwindled to 12 votes. As the courts reviewed ballots the lead grew and shrank until a judge ruled the race over and that Tenney should be certified. With appeals still pending, Brindisi conceded and dropped all legal challenges on February 8, 2021.[234]
2019 Córdoba Province, Argentina Córdoba Legislature Pocho Department 0.0355% 1 1,106 Hugo Cuello (Union for Córdoba) won the seat for the Pocho Department by 1,106 votes against Raúl Recalde (Together for Córdoba) 1,105 votes.
1978 United States New Hampshire New Hampshire Senate Republican Primary District 14 0.03560% 3 4,215 Incumbent Thomas J. Claveau (D) defeated Phyllis Keeney (R).[235]
1922 United States Illinois United States House of Representatives Illinois' 6th District 0.03564% 42 58,928 Democrat James R. Buckley defeated incumbent Republican John J. Gorman by 42 votes. Gorman contested the election on the basis that there were many errors, mistakes, and irregularities and a recount would show he had won. However Gorman failed to submit his evidence within the 30 days required and therefore had no standing. In a rematch in 1924, Gorman regained his seat.[236]
1964 United States Nevada United States Senate Nevada 0.03565% 48 67,336 Democratic incumbent Howard Cannon defeated Republican Paul Laxalt.[237]
2013 Philippines Philippine House of Representatives Northern Samar's 1st District 0.03569% 52 72,857 Nacionalista Harlin Abayon defeated Liberal incumbent Raul Daza. Daza won on a recount by the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal and replaced Abayon, but Abayon won an appeal in the Supreme Court. Abayon was still not seated in the last day of the 16th Congress.[238]
1945 Canada Canadian federal Colchester—Hants 0.0357% 8 11,141 Progressive Conservative Frank Stanfield defeated Liberal incumbent Gordon Timlin Purdy.[239]
1982 United States Maine Maine House of Representatives District 69 0.03606% 1 1,387 Unofficial counts said it was tied, but all subsequent counts were 1,387–1,386[1] Winner was Walter R. Sherburne.
1916 United States North Carolina United States House of Representatives North Carolina's 10th District 0.03611% 13 18,008 When ballots were originally canvassed, James J. Britt held a scant 13 vote lead over challenger Zebulon Weaver. However, Buncombe County decided to accept 90 unmarked ballots (ballots that were printed as either Republican or Democratic ballots) and those ballots gave Weaver an 8 vote lead. Weaver was certified and provisionally seated while Britt contested the election. The House found in his favor, but by the time he was sworn in there was only 4 days remaining in his term.[240]
1990 United States Ohio Ohio general Ohio Attorney General 0.03672% 1,234 1,680,698 Democratic candidate Lee Fisher defeated Republican Paul Pfeifer after a six-week recount, earning him the ironic nickname "Landslide Lee".[241]
2000 Canada Canadian federal Champlain 0.03674% 15 20,423 Bloc Québécois candidate Marcel Gagnon narrowly edged out Liberal Julie Boulet.[242]
1859 United States Tennessee United States House of Representatives Tennessee's 9th District 0.0371% 7 9,437 Emerson Etheridge defeated Democrat John DeWitt Clinton Atkins, 9,437–9,430.[243][244]
1922 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Manchester, Clayton 0.0372% 11 14,800 Conservative Party candidate William Henry Flanagan defeated Labour Party candidate John Edward Sutton, 14,800–14,789.[245] Sutton had beaten Flanagan in the by-election earlier that year.
2018 Australia Victoria (state) Victoria Legislative Assembly Electoral district of Ripon 0.03745% 15 20,035 Incumbent Louise Staley of the Liberal Party defeated Sarah de Santis of the Labor Party [246]
2018 United States Alaska Alaska House of Representatives District 1 0.03755% 1 2,663 Republican nominee Bart LeBon defeated Democrat Kathryn Dodge 2,663-2,662 following a recount and a state supreme court challenge.[247][248] Dodge challenged the findings of the Division of Elections on three ballots, two that were counted and one that was not, but the Supreme Court upheld the count and Dodge conceded. The race decided control of the Alaska House of Representatives, technically giving Republicans a majority, but due to defections created a 20–20 tie instead of Democratic control.[249] After weeks of deadlock, Bryce Edgmon (who originally won his seat with a coin toss) switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Independent and was re-elected Speaker and several committees were set up with bipartisan leadership.
1951 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Belfast West 0.03769% 25 33,174 Irish Labour candidate Jack Beattie defeated UUP incumbent Thomas Teevan, 33,174–33,149.[250]
1968 Canada Canadian federal Comox—Alberni 0.03771% 9 11,939 Liberal Richard Durante defeated New Democratic incumbent Thomas Speakman Barnett.[148] The result was later declared void and Durante lost the by-election to Barnett in 1969.
1935 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Kingswinford 0.0382% 16 20,925 Labour Party challenger Arthur Henderson defeated Conservative Party incumbent Alan Livesey Stuart Todd, 20,925–20,909.[251]
1896 Canada Canadian federal York East 0.03841% 1 3,907 Independent Conservative incumbent William F. McLean defeated Liberal Henry R. Frankland.[48] F
2008 Canada Canadian federal Kitchener—Waterloo 0.0390% 17 21,830 Conservative Peter Braid defeated Liberal Andrew Telegdi after a recount.[252]
1828 United States New York (state) United States House of Representatives New York's 20th District 0.03917% 7 8,939 In 1828, the 20th district had two representatives and all candidates ran in one race. Jacksonian Silas Wright, Jr. finished in 3rd place, 7 votes behind Adams-supporter George Fisher. Wright contested the outcome and a House investigation found that 130 votes for Wright had not been returned for him because of mistakes by election officials. The House removed Fisher, who did not object to the outcome and resigned, and gave the seat to Wright. Wright in the meantime had been elected state comptroller and so he refused to qualify for the seat, which was later filled by a special election.[253][254]
1992 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Vale of Glamorgan 0.03923% 19 24,220 Conservative Party challenger Walter Sweeney defeated Labour Party incumbent John William Patrick Smith, 24,220–24,201. Smith would beat Sweeney in 1997.[255]
2008 United States Alaska Alaska House of Representatives District 7 0.0398% 4 5,024 Incumbent Republican Mike Kelly defeated Democratic challenger Karl Kassel, 5,024–5,020, following a recount.[256][257][258]
1990 United States Illinois Illinois House of Representatives 55th district 0.0406% 6 7,392 Initially, Rosemary Mulligan and Penny Pullen were certified as having 7,431–7,400 votes and Mulligan was declared the winner. The trial court ordered a recount that then had them tied at 7,387–7,387. The Illinois Compiled Statutes required that ties be resolved by lot.[259] Mulligan won the coin flip and was declared the winner by the trial court. Pullen then appealed, and the Illinois Supreme Court decided that the correct vote count was 7,392–7,386, with Pullen declared the winner. Two years later Mulligan took another swing at the seat, and defeated Pullen in a race so close it also required a recount.[260]
1991 United States Virginia Virginia House of Delegates District 58 0.0408% 7 8,561 C. Timothy Lindstrom (D) was originally declared the winner, but later it was discovered that election officials in Greene County misread a "9" as a "0" and Peter Way (R) went on to win the election.[261][262]
2013 United States Virginia Virginia General Virginia Attorney General 0.0411% 907 1,105,045 Democratic candidate Mark Herring defeated Republican candidate Mark Obenshain. The initial count was 1,103,777–1,103–612—a 165 or 0.01% margin. The recount was 1,105,045–1,104,138 — a 907 or 0.04% margin.
1994 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts Governor's Council Democratic Primary 4th District 0.0420% 26 30,989 Christopher A. Iannella, Jr. defeated John J. Kerrigan. Iannella won the general unopposed.[263]
1870 United States South Carolina United States House of Representatives South Carolina's At-large District (unrecognized) 0.0425% 61 71,803 South Carolina was readmitted to Congress in 1868, after passage of the 14th Amendment. That amendment ended the three-fifths rule effectively raising the population of states that once had slavery. As a result, South Carolina and other slave states tried to seat extra members of Congress. South Carolina choose two additional congress members during at-large election. In one of those, Johann Peter Martin Epping defeated Lucius W. Wimbush by 61 votes: 71,803–71,742. But the House refused to seat him and the other at-large winner. "A number of southern states upon readmission claimed that since their slaves were emancipated, they were entitled to larger delegations in the House. Epping's election falls in this category. The claims were rejected by the House."[264][265][266][267]
1995 Australia Queensland Queensland Legislative Assembly Mundingburra 0.04301% 16 18,600 General election saw return of Australian Labor Party MP Ken Davies over his Liberal Party rival, Frank Tanti, after distribution of preferences of minor candidates, by just 16 votes. However due to the non-arrival of some overseas military ballots, a Court of Disputed Returns required a fresh election, at which Tanti won. As this seat was the difference between a Labor Party majority and a Liberal Party supported by an Independent MP, the overturning of the result was a rare example of the fate of an entire government resting on a challenge to an ultra-close constituency.
2014 Australia South Australia Parliament of South Australia Fisher state by-election 0.04371% 9 10,299 By-election caused by the death of sitting independent MP Bob Such. The Australian Labor Party candidate Nat Cook beat the Liberal Party candidate, Heidi Harris, by 9 votes.[268]
1974 Canada Canadian federal Drummond 0.0447% 13 14,561 Liberal Yvon Pinard defeated Social Credit incumbent Jean-Marie Boisvert.[269]
1979 Canada Canadian federal Halifax 0.0453% 15 16,570 Progressive Conservative George Cooper defeated Liberal Brian Flemming.[270]
2006 United States Vermont Vermont Auditor of Accounts Vermont Auditor of Accounts 0.0456% 102 111,770 The initial count gave the victory to Randy Brock (R) by 137 votes, but after a recount, Thomas M. Salmon (D) was declared the winner by just 102 votes. The final tally gave Salmon 111,770 votes and Republican Brock 111,668.[271]
1922 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Portsmouth, Central 0.0457% 7 7,666 In this four-way race, Conservative Party candidate Frank Privett defeated National Liberal candidate T. Fisher 7,666–7,659.[272]
2005 Canada British Columbia general Vancouver-Burrard 0.0458% 11 12,009[273] On election night, Tim Stevenson of the British Columbia New Democratic Party had the lead over Lorne Mayencourt of the British Columbia Liberal Party, but Mayencourt had a 17-vote lead after a recount. When the absentee ballots were counted later, Maynecourt widened his lead by 1 vote.[274] Following an additional recount ordered by the courts, Maynecourt retained an 11-vote lead and was declared the winner.[275] Stevenson sued, arguing that 71 absentee ballots had improperly certified and thus uncounted and that a new election was needed, but then dropped the suit to run for a seat on the city council.[276]
1960 United States Indiana United States House of Representatives Indiana's 5th District 0.0461% 99 107,357 In the official count after election day, Republican George O. Chambers defeated Democrat J. Edward Roush by 3 votes and by 12 votes after the canvas. He was certified as the winner, but Roush contested the outcome and the Democratically-controlled House first decided that neither should be seated. After a review of the ballots, the House Committee determined that Roush had won the seat by 99 votes and on June 14, 1961 passed a resolution to seat him.[176]
1993 Canada Canadian federal Edmonton Northwest 0.0476% 12 12,599 Liberal candidate Anne McLellan narrowly edged out Reform candidate Richard Kayler.[277]
1853 United States Georgia (U.S. state) United States House of Representatives Georgia's 3rd District 0.0478% 5 5,232 Democrat David J. Bailey defeated Whig Robert P. Trippe 5232–5227.[278]
1972 United States Connecticut Connecticut House of Representatives 65th district Democratic primary Connecticut 0.0481% 1 2,079[279] Representatives Addo Bonetti and John J. Miscikowski were both moved into the 65th district after legislative redistricting in 1972.[280] Bonetti was initially defeated in the primary by Miscikowski by one vote and a recount maintained Miscikowski's one vote victory.[279][281] However, Judge George Saden invalidated the primary and ordered a new one due to a Republican having mistakenly voted in the primary.[282] Bonetti defeated Miscikowski in the second primary and won in the general election against Republican nominee Edwin R. Chadwick.[283][284]
2017 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Perth and North Perthshire 0.0482% 21 21,804 The incumbent Scottish National Party narrowly defeated Conservative candidate Ian Duncan.[285]
1945 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Cheshire, Northwich 0.0486% 15 15,477 In this three-way race, Conservative Party candidate John Foster defeated Labour Party candidate Prof. Robert Chorley 15,477–15,473.[139]
1968 Canada Canadian federal Oshawa—Whitby 0.0493% 15 15,224 New Democrat Ed Broadbent defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent Michael Starr.[148]
2014 Ukraine Ukrainian parliamentary 79th constituency (Vasylivka) 0.0495% 17 17,197 An independent representative of Zaporizhia Iron Ore Works Oleksandr Hryhorchuk initially defeated the pro-Party of Regions incumbent Volodymyr Bandurov by 138 votes. Bandurov contested the result and obtained a recount, and won with a margin of 17 votes following the recount. Hryhorchuk contested the recount as irregular.[286]
2016 United States Vermont Vermont House of Representatives Windsor-Orange 1 District 0.0498% 1 1,004 This was the fourth matchup between incumbent Democrat Sarah Buxton and Republican David Ainsworth (their first matchup had also been decided by one vote). The initial tally had Buxton leading by 3 votes: 1,003–1,000.

The first recount had them both tied at 1,000.

The second recount then had Ainsworth win by one vote, 1,004–1,003. Buxton did not make any further appeals and this was the final result.[287][288]

1940 United States Kansas Kansas gubernatorial Governor of Kansas 0.0505% 430 425,928 Burke came within 430 votes of beating Gov. Ratner for reelection.[289][290]
1854 United States Pennsylvania United States House of Representatives Pennsylvania's 5th District 0.0510% 8 7,842 Democrat John Cadwalader defeated anti-Nebraska Whig Jones 7,842–7,834.
2009 Canada Quebec Party Leader (second ballot) Action démocratique du Québec 0.0511% 2 1,957 After longtime leader Mario Dumont stepped down from the leadership of the party, an election was held. In a very close race, Gilles Taillon defeated his opponent Éric Caire, by just 2 votes.[291]
1833 United States Indiana United States House of Representatives Indiana's 2nd District 0.0520% 2 1,921 In this 6-way race, Whig John Ewing defeated Democrat John W. Davis by 2 votes: 1921–1919.[292][293]
2020 United States Pennsylvania Pennsylvania Senate District 45 0.0521% 69 66,261 When this race was certified in early December, after numerous court battles, Democrat Jim Brewster had 69 votes more than Republican Nicole Ziccarelli. However a dispute over 311 absentee and mail-in ballots that were signed, but not dated lingered in the courts into January. Though Brewster was certified, Republicans in the state Senate blocked Brewster from taking his oath of office and removed the Democratic lieutenant governor from his role overseeing the proceedings.[294] A week later, after Ziccarelli lost her appeal, she conceded and Brewster was sworn in.[295]
1870 United States Pennsylvania United States House of Representatives Pennsylvania's 17th District 0.05324% 11 10,335 Democratic challenger Milton Speer defeated Republican incumbent Daniel J. Morrell by 11 votes: 10335–10324.[296][297][298] Morrell declined to contest the results, blaming the loss on the "base treachery and debauchery of professed Republicans."
1887 Canada Canadian federal Montmorency 0.05328% 1 939 Liberal Charles Langelier defeated Conservative P. V. Valin.[47]
2016 United States Arizona United States House of Representatives Republican Primary Arizona's 5th District 0.0535% 27 85,595 On the night of the Republican Primary for the seat being vacated by Congressman Matt Salmon, State Senator Andy Biggs lead by a total of 16 votes against Republican challenger Christine Jones. After a recount that lead widened to 27 votes, and Jones conceded the election.[299]
1945 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Caithness and Sutherland 0.0539% 6 5,564 In this very close three-way race where each candidate received 33% of the vote, Unionist Party candidate Eric Gandar Dower defeated Labour Party candidate Robert Ian Aonas MacInnes 5,564–5,558. The incumbent, Liberal Party leader Archibald Sinclair, had 5,503 votes.
1974 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Peterborough 0.05407% 22 20,353 Conservative Party incumbent Sir Harmar Nicholls defeated Labour Party challenger Michael Ward 20,353–20,331. Ward had also lost to Nicholls in 1966 and 1970, but would win in Oct 1974.
1983 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Hyndburn 0.05414% 21 19,405 Conservative Party candidate Ken Hargreaves defeated Labour Party candidate Arthur Davidson 19,405–19,384. This seat was created in 1983.[300]
1838 United States New Jersey United States House of Representatives New Jersey's at-large District 0.05455% 31 28,426 For much of its early history, New Jersey chose all of its Congressional delegation in an at-large election, with each voter getting to vote for however many candidates that there were seats and usually each party's slate of candidates would thus have similar numbers of votes. In 1838, New Jersey had six seats and so each voter could vote for six candidates. The voting for the parties was very close and at first it appeared that all 6 Whig candidates had been re-elected and they're election was certified by the Whig governor who applied the states "broad seal" to them. The Democrats contested the election on the grounds that the votes of two townships were excluded and that if included would've swung the election and this became known as the "Broad Seal War". The House, which held a 2-seat majority without the NJ delegation, decided to seat one of the Whigs but leave the other 5 seats vacant. After the contest was investigated, and the excluded votes counted, 5 of the 6 Democrats were declared winners. They were seated in July 1840. In the end only 197 votes separated the Democrat's best finisher from the Whig's worst. Charles C. Stratton came in 7th, only 31 votes behind Democrat Joseph Kille a difference of only 0.05455%. John P. B. Maxwell missed out by 40 votes, or 0.0703%. The 6 Democrats averaged 28,429 votes and the Whigs 28,360 for an average advantage of only 69 votes or 0.12%.[301][302]
2014 United States Tennessee United States House of Representatives Tennessee's 4th District 0.05464% 38 69,548 Scandal-plagued Republican candidate Scott DesJarlais defeated candidate Jim Tracy.[303]
1986 United States North Carolina United States House of Representatives North Carolina's 6th District 0.05465% 79 144,579 Republican candidate Howard Coble defeated Democratic candidate Robin Britt.
1964 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Ealing North 0.0561% 27 20,809 Labour Party challenger William Molloy defeated Conservative Party incumbent John Barter 20,809–20,782.[304]
2010 United States Vermont Vermont House of Representatives Windsor-Orange 1 District 0.0567% 1 882 On the initial tally, challenger Democrat Sarah Buxton and incumbent Republican David Ainsworth had 882-881 votes. On a recount, they were tied, with one mailed-in military vote for Buxton rejected. Buxton appealed and the Superior Court ruled that vote valid, so that Buxton still won by one vote (881–880). Ainsworth then appealed but the House voted along party lines to uphold Buxton's one-vote victory.[116][305][306] Remarkably, their fourth matchup in 2016 would again be decided by one vote, but with the result reversed.
2012 United States Iowa United States presidential Iowa Republican caucuses 0.0570% 34 29,839 Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum defeated former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney in the statewide Republican caucuses, the closest GOP primary election in United States history.[307] Romney had been declared the winner by 8 votes on caucus night.
1930 United States Kansas Kansas gubernatorial Governor of Kansas 0.0576% 251 217,171 Harry H. Woodring won a three-way race between himself (217,171 votes), Frank Haucke (216,920), and John R. Hinckley (183,278).[308]
1903 Australia Australian House of Representatives Riverina 0.0576% 5 4,341 Robert Blackwood defeated the sitting member John Chanter by five votes. The result was overturned and Chanter won a by-election by 363 votes.[73]
2014 Ukraine Ukrainian parliamentary 22nd constituency (Lutsk) 0.0578% 28 24,245 Ihor Lapin (People's Front), defeated Iryna Konstankevych, an ally of the incumbent Ihor Palytsia who was a candidate on the Petro Poroshenko Bloc party list instead), 24,245–24,217.[309]
1959 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Birmingham All Saints 0.05806% 20 17,235 Conservative Party challenger John Harold Hollingworth defeated Labour Party incumbent Denis Herbert Howell 17,235–17,215.[310]
2011 Canada Canadian federal Nipissing—Timiskaming 0.05812% 18 15,495 Conservative Jay Aspin defeated Liberal incumbent Anthony Rota.[311]
1870 United States Pennsylvania United States House of Representatives Pennsylvania's 16th District 0.0584% 15 12,859 Democratic challenger Benjamin F. Meyers defeated Republican incumbent John Cessna by 15 votes: 12,859–12,844.[312][313] Cessna contested the election and on January 18, 1872 the House Committee on Elections decided in favor of Meyers.[314][315] In a rematch later that year, Cessna reclaimed his seat.
1990 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives Democratic Primary 11th Essex 0.0599% 5 4,175 Edward J. Clancy Jr. defeated Thomas M. McGee.[316]
1972 Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Newfoundland general Labrador South 0.06% 1 1,865 Josiah Harvey of the Liberal Party narrowly held onto his seat against Labrador Party candidate Michael Martin. A rematch was held later that year, in which Martin won the seat.[317]
2020 Ghana Ghanaian general Sene West 0.0606% 16 13,116[318] Incumbent Kwame Twumasi Ampofo of the National Democratic Congress narrowly won reelection against Joseph Kumah Mackey of the New Patriotic Party. The Electoral Commission took longer than expected to declare a winner, in part due to the closeness of the election and in part due to an incident in which a member of the NPP stole a ballot box which had to be inspected.[319] This result led to a hung parliament as a single independent prevented either party from reaching a majority of seats (although the lone independent decided to vote with the NPP).[320]
2012 Ukraine Ukrainian parliamentary 184th constituency (Nova Kakhovka) 0.0607% 22 18,123 In a first-past-the-post race with 9 candidates, he Party of Regions candidate Mykola Dmytruk defeated an independent Ivan Vynnyk 18,123 (19.99%)–18,101 (19.96%). Vynnyk contested the result, stating that official counts from all polling places make him the winner with a margin of 177 votes and requested a new vote. The Supreme Administrative Court of Ukraine declined, Vynnyk appealed to the European Court of Human Rights.[321]
2017 France French legislative (2nd round) Corrèze's 2nd constituency 0.06105% 23 18,849 Frédérique Meunier of The Republicans (LR) narrowly held onto his seat against ex-Socialist senator Patricia Bordas, invested by La République En Marche! (REM).[322]
2017 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Kensington 0.06126% 20 16,333 Labour Emma Dent Coad defeated Conservative Victoria Borwick after 3 recounts over two days.
2016 United States New Hampshire New Hampshire Senate District 7 0.06128% 17 13,880 The initial[323] count showed Republican Harold French with a 13-vote lead over Democrat Andrew Hosmer. Following a recount, that widened to 17 votes.[324]
1950 United States Michigan Michigan gubernatorial Governor of Michigan 0.0614% 1,154 935,152 Incumbent Democratic G. Mennen Williams defeated Republican former Governor Harry Kelly.[325]
2018 United States Idaho Idaho Senate District 15 0.0615% 11 8,947 The initial count showed Incumbent Republican Fred Martin ahead with a 6-vote lead over Democratic challenger Jim Bratnober. Following a recount, that widened to 11 votes.[326]
2018 United States Washington (state) Washington State Senate District 42 0.06204% 45 36,291 Republican incumbent Doug Erickson defeated Democrat Pinky Vargas by 45 votes after a recount.[327]
2010 United States Illinois Illinois gubernatorial Republican Primary Governor of Illinois 0.06209% 193 155,527 Bill Brady defeated Kirk Dillard.[328][329]
1998 United States South Dakota South Dakota House of Representatives District 12 0.06217% 4 3,219 In this remarkable rematch, four candidates Democrats John R. McIntyre and Robert Litz; and, Republicans Hal Wick and Judy Rost were contesting two seats. On the initial count, they had respectively 3,229 (25.84%), 2,250 (18.00%), 3,229 (25.84%), and 3,790 (30.32%) (12,498 total votes). As in 1996, Rost won the first seat, while McIntyre and Wick tied for the second seat.

But on a recount, McIntyre was found to be ahead by 4 votes, with the final official tally being 3,219 (25.85%), 2,244 (18.02%), 3,215 (25.81%), 3,776 (30.32%) (12,454 total votes).

The House then voted 36–33, this time to seat McIntyre.[27][330]

1892 United States California United States presidential California 0.06224% 147 269,609 Former President Grover Cleveland narrowly carried California over Republican President Benjamin Harrison and went on to reclaim the presidency in a rematch of the 1888 presidential elections, thus becoming both the 22nd and 24th president of the United States.[331]
1960 United States Hawaii United States presidential Hawaii 0.06226% 115 92,410 Just a year after becoming the fiftieth State, Hawaii surprised many political experts by voting for Democrat John F. Kennedy over Republican Richard Nixon, albeit by a very small margin.[332]
1970 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives Democratic Primary 6th Hampden 0.0625% 3 2,400 In a 3-way race, James L. Grimaldi topped Anthony M. Scibelli by 3 votes. Grimaldi would win the general, but then lose the 1972 primary to Scibelli. He'd win the seat in 14th Hampden twice and then lose the seat for 10th Hampden to Scibelli. Scibelli would serve from 1972 to 2000.[333]
1976 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts Senate Democratic Primary 2nd Essex and Middlesex 0.06262% 13 10,386 William X. Wall defeated James M. Shannon on his way to winning the seat.[334]
2013 Australia Australian federal Division of Fairfax 0.06264% 53 42,330 Clive Palmer (Palmer United Party) defeated Ted O'Brien of the Liberal National Party of Queensland following two recounts in a ranked choice voting runoff.[335]
1896 United States Kentucky United States presidential Kentucky 0.06352% 277 218,171 William McKinley was elected president twice by comfortable Electoral College majorities, but his only victory in a Southern state was his razor-thin win over William Jennings Bryan in Kentucky in his initial presidential run, becoming the first Republican ever to win Kentucky.[336] McKinley won Kentucky; however one Elector cast a vote for Bryan.
2012 United States New Mexico New Mexico House of Representatives District 37 0.0638% 8 6,267 Two weeks after the election was over, the vote was still tied and went to a recount, which Republican Terry McMillan won by 8 votes.[337] After another close loss in 2014, Democrat Joanne Ferrary defeated McMillan in 2016.[338]
2000 United States New Mexico United States presidential New Mexico 0.0639% 366 286,783 Since Florida's electoral votes decided George W. Bush's electoral college win over Al Gore, little attention was paid to the fact that New Mexico's outcome was even closer (in terms of raw vote) than the Florida result, this time with Gore coming out ahead.[339]
1916 United States New Hampshire United States presidential New Hampshire 0.06400% 56 43,781 Although the 0.38% victory margin for President Woodrow Wilson in California—which gave Wilson the thirteen electoral votes he needed to win reelection over Republican Charles Evans Hughes—garnered most of the attention, Wilson's surprise 56-vote victory over Hughes in New Hampshire (the only Northeastern state that Hughes did not carry) was the closest contest in the election.[340]
1828 United States Maine United States House of Representatives Maine's 5th District 0.0642% 3 2,495 In the September 1828 election, Reuel Washburn and James Ripley had 2,495–2,180 votes. But Maine law required that the winner have an absolute majority of the votes, i.e. 2,498 votes and so Washburn was 3 short. A new election was held in December 1828 and Ripley won a majority. There was some further wrangling but eventually Ripley was declared elected.[44]
2004 United States Ohio Ohio Senate Republican Primary 14th District 0.06438% 22 17,098 Jean Schmidt won the first count by 62 votes, but Tom Niehaus prevailed in a recount and went on to win the general election.[241]
2016 United States New Mexico New Mexico House of Representatives 29th District 0.0645% 9 6,976 Republican Dave Adkins recaptured his spot in the New Mexico House over challenger Ronnie Martinez. The original count had him ahead by just two votes.[341] But a recount widened that lead to 9.[342]
2016 Philippines Philippine House of Representatives Leyte's 3rd District 0.06466% 56 43,333 NUP's Vicente Veloso won an open seat contest against Liberal Tingting Salvacion, daughter of term-limited Andres Salvacion.[343]
2018 United States Iowa Iowa House of Representatives District 55 0.06503% 9 6,924 Republican Incumbent Michael Bergan won the initial vote count over Democrat Kayla Koether by 7 votes and the recount by 9.[344] Koether contested the election, arguing that 29 of 33 disputed absentee ballots were wrongly rejected. The ballots were received on time and the barcode proved they were mailed prior to the election, as required by law, but the barcode used on the disputed ballot differed from the postage stamp or “intelligent mail barcode" called for by the Iowa Code and administrative rules. After a district judge declined to decide if the ballots should be counted, Koether petitioned the Iowa House to settle the matter. On party-line votes in both the committee (3-2) and the Iowa House (53-42), legislators decided that the Iowa House did not have the legal authority to open and count the ballots.[345]
2018 United States Minnesota Minnesota House of Representatives District 5A 0.06510% 11 8,454 Democratic-Farmer-Labor party candidate John Persell beat incumbent Republican Representative Matt Bliss by 11 votes after a recount that extended his margin by 3 votes.[346]
1988 United States Iowa Iowa House of Representatives Democratic Primary District 67 0.06515% 1 768 Bob Hellyer won the Democratic primary for Iowa House District 67 by one vote. Hellyer received 768 and James Martley received 767.[347][348]
2006 Italy Italian general Chamber of Deputies 0.06518% 24,755 19,002,598 The centre-left coalition The Union led by Romano Prodi defeated the centre-right House of Freedoms of incumbent Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.[349] Thus winning the majority bonus.
1971 United States Virginia Virginia House of Delegates District 23 0.0677% 27 19,958 Herbert N. Morgan (R) narrowly defeated H. Richard Chew (D)[350]
2008 Canada Canadian federal Vancouver South 0.06833% 22 16,110[351] Liberal Ujjal Dosanjh defeated Conservative Wai Young after two recounts.[352]
1832 United States New York (state) United States House of Representatives New York's 18th District 0.06834% 6 4,393 Democrat Daniel Wardwell defeated Anti-Masonic candidate Daniel Lee by 6 votes: 4,393–4,387.[353][354]
2004 United States North Carolina North Carolina general North Carolina Commissioner of Agriculture 0.06868% 2,287 1,666,197 Republican Steve Troxler defeated Democrat Britt Cobb.[355] A failure by poll workers to change the memory card in a voting machine used for early voting in Carteret County led to the loss of 4,000 votes. The State Board of Elections voted 3-2 in favor of calling a new statewide election for the seat over calling a new election in Carteret County alone; 4 votes would have been required to take action on either option. In early December, the North Carolina Board of Elections ordered a new election for January 11, 2005, in Carteret County alone, for voters whose ballots had been lost or who had not voted in the November 2 election. Both candidates appealed the decision, Cobb arguing that a statewide revote should be held, Troxler arguing that a revote should be limited to those voters whose votes were lost. A Wake County superior court judge overturned this decision on December 17, calling it "arbitrary and capricious" and "contrary to law," requiring the State Board of Elections to revisit the issue. On December 29, the State Board of Elections ordered a new statewide election for the post. On January 13, 2005, the superior court invalidated this order as well, and sent the contest back to the Elections Board for resolution. Following this ruling, Cobb chose to concede defeat rather than continue a court battle with no clear way to resolve the issue. On February 4, the State Board of Elections officially certified Troxler as the winner of the 2004 election.
1930 United States Missouri United States House of Representatives Missouri's 3rd District 0.0704% 46 32,669 According to the returns as originally certified, incumbent Jacob L. Milligan and challenger H. F. Lawrence had 32,665–32,626 votes. The recount of this precinct gave Milligan a clear majority of 46 votes, with the vote being 32,669–32,623.[356][357]
1952 United States Kentucky United States presidential Kentucky 0.07065% 700 495,729 Dwight Eisenhower was elected president in a landslide, but lost Kentucky by the smallest margin of any state Presidential battle for thirty-six years, giving a sixth straight Democratic win in the Bluegrass State.[358]
1974 United Kingdom United Kingdom general East Dunbartonshire 0.071% 22 15,551 In a three-way race, SNP challenger Margaret Bain defeated Conservative Party incumbent Barry Henderson 15,551–15,529. (Labour Party Edward McGarry candidate had 15,122 votes.) Henderson had defeated both Bain and McGarry earlier in the Feb 1974 election.[359]
2002 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives 18th Worcester 0.0714% 4 2,803 Jennifer Callahan defeated Robert Dubois by 4 votes and then went on to win the seat. She lost re-election in 2010 and DuBois won nomination for the seat in 2012. He lose in the general.[360][361]
2014 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives 1st Essex 0.0717% 10 6,978 James M. Kelcourse (R) defeated Edward C. Cameron (D).[362]
2020 Australia Northern Territory Northern Territory general election Electoral division of Barkly 0.0727% 5 3441 The sitting member, Gerry McCarthy, resigned and while the Labor candidate was ahead on the night, Country Liberal candidate Steve Edgington pulled ahead by 5 votes on postal votes making it the first time since 1990 that Labor had not held the seat.[363]
1959 Singapore Singaporean general River Valley 0.07294% 5 3,430 People's Action Party candidate Lim Cheng Lock defeated Soh Ghee Soon of the Singapore People's Alliance.[364]
2014 United States Arizona United States House of Representatives Arizona's 2nd district 0.07343% 161 109,704 Martha McSally defeated Ron Barber, officially announced a month after the election, after a legally-mandated recount.[365] McSally had lost to Barber in 2012 by 2,454 votes.
1919 United States Maryland Maryland gubernatorial Governor of Maryland 0.0735% 165 112,240 After several days of vote counting, Albert Ritchie was declared the winner over Harry Nice, 112,240 votes to 112,075.[366] Ritchie would serve four terms as Governor, but would be defeated in 1934 by Nice, who won by 6,149.[367]
1870 United States Kentucky United States House of Representatives Kentucky's 8th District 0.0737% 18 12,226 Democrat incumbent George M. Adams defeated Republican challenger Hugh F. Finley by 18 votes: 12,226–12,208.[368][79]
2016 United States Pennsylvania Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 31 0.07381% 28 18,982 Democrat Perry Warren defeated Republican Ryan Gallagher for District 31 of the PA House of Representatives.[369]
2002 United States Colorado United States House of Representatives Colorado's 7th district 0.07403% 121 81,789 In the first race in this newly created Congressional district, Republican Bob Beauprez narrowly beat out Democrat Mike Feeley.[370]
1940 Canada Canadian federal Cumberland 0.07438% 12 8,073 Liberal Percy Chapman Black defeated National Government incumbent Kenneth Judson Cochrane.[371]
1923 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Huddersfield 0.0746% 26 17,430 Labour Party candidate James Hudson defeated Liberal Party candidate Arthur Marshall 17,430–17,404. (In this three-way race, Conservative Party C. Tinker won 12,694 votes.)[372] In the previous year's General Election (1922), Marshall had narrowly beaten Hudson by a 0.5% margin.
1988 Canada Canadian federal Northumberland, Ontario 0.07533% 28 18,600 Liberal candidate Christine Stewart narrowly edged out Progressive Conservative Reg Jewell.[168]
2018 United States Florida Florida general Commissioner of Agriculture 0.07535% 6,753 4,032,954 After a recount, Democrat Nikki Fried defeated Republican Matt Caldwell.[373]
1987 United States Virginia Virginia Senate District 39 0.0755% 35 21,217 William C. Wampler Jr. (R) defeated John S. Bundy (D) by 32 votes and a December 15, 1987 recount widened the margin by 3 more votes.[216][374]
2006 Canada Canadian federal Parry Sound—Muskoka 0.0756% 28 18,513 Conservative candidate Tony Clement narrowly edged out Liberal MP Andy Mitchell.[375]
1916 United States Arizona Arizona gubernatorial Governor of Arizona 0.0766% 43 28,094 The initial count had Thomas Campbell up by 30 votes. George Hunt, the incumbent, contested; but before that could be settled his term expired. The courts then allowed Campbell to take office as de facto Governor in January 1917. After losing a case in the county court and winning at the state Supreme Court, Hunt became governor in December 1917, with the courts deciding he'd won by 43 votes.[376] Had the initial count stood this race would have been even closer, with the margin just 0.0536%.
2010 United States Vermont Vermont House of Representatives Rutland 5-4 District 0.0770% 1 650 After the initial count had Gale Courcelle up by 1, a recount took one vote away from Doug Gage (R). Subsequent action awarded it back.[377]
1974 United States North Dakota United States Senate North Dakota 0.0771% 177 114,852 Five-term Republican U.S. Senator Milton Young defeated former Democratic Governor William Guy by 177 votes out of 237,000 cast.[378][379]
1990 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives 7th Worcester 0.0780% 13 8,341 Democrat Paul Kollios defeated Independent Alan M. Tuttle.[380]
1981 United States New Jersey New Jersey gubernatorial Governor of New Jersey 0.0784% 1,797 1,145,999 The results of the initial ballot counting was close with Kean leading Florio by 1,677 votes. A recount took place over the next month and Kean was certified the winner besting Florio by 1,797 votes out of over 2.3 million votes cast.
1922 United Kingdom United Kingdom general South Shields 0.0794% 25 15,760 In this three-way race, Liberal Party candidate Edward Harney defeated Labour Party William Lawther 15,760–15,735.[381]
2013 United States New Jersey New Jersey General Assembly District 2 0.07954% 40 25,164 Democrat Vince Mazzeo defeated incumbent Republican John F. Amodeo after a recount.[382]
1922 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Derbyshire, North-Eastern 0.0802% 15 9,359 In this three-way race, Labour Party candidate Frank Lee defeated Liberal Party candidate Joseph Stanley Holmes 9,359–9,344.[383]
1922 United States Delaware United States Senate Delaware 0.0812% 60 36,954 Democratic attorney Thomas Bayard defeated appointed U.S. Senator T. Coleman DuPont by 60 votes out of 74K+ votes cast in a special election. Bayard simultaneously defeated DuPont by 0.43 points in the election to the seat for the unexpired six-year term.[379]
1990 United States New Hampshire New Hampshire House of Representatives Hillsborough 40 District 0.0818% 4 2,448 Robert Murphy (D) defeated Kathleen Souza (R) by 4 votes.[384]
2018 United States Illinois Illinois House of Representatives 54th District 0.0823% 37 22,484 Tom Morrison (R) defeated Maggie Trevor (D) by 37 votes.[385]
1916 United States Michigan United States House of Representatives Michigan's 2nd District 0.0868% 46 26,530 The initial count for this House seat gave the win to Republican Mark R. Bacon by a margin of 49 votes. However his opponent, Democrat Samuel Beakes, discovered that canvassers had failed to include more than 70 ballots and those ballots were then counted which gave Beakes the lead by 46 votes. Bacon argued that the ballot boxes were not safely preserved and so any new ballots should be considered void. The local and state election boards felt unable to rule and the State Supreme Court was unwilling to call for a recount, so Beakes contested the election in the House where Bacon had been seated. The Democratically-controlled House, which had a 3 seat majority at the time, ruled that the new ballots should be counted and they replaced Bacon with Beakes.[236]
1922 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Salford, North 0.0836% 19 11,368 In this three-way race, Labour Party incumbent Ben Tillett defeated Conservative Party challenger Samuel Finburgh 11,368–11,349. Tillett face Finbburgh again in the 1923 and 1924 General Elections, winning in 1923 but losing in 1924.[386]
1984 United States Idaho United States House of Representatives Idaho's 2nd District 0.08399% 170 7,637 The first count showed that Richard H. Stallings had defeated the incumbent Republican George V. Hansen by 133 votes. A partial recount upped that margin to 170. Hansen, who in the spring prior to the election had been convicted of filing false financial disclosure statements, contested the election arguing that illegally registered voters were allowed to vote and that he was denied a full recount. A review by the Idaho Attorney General determined that no unqualified persons voted and that the partial recount did not show enough material differences for a full recount to change the outcome, so the House dismissed his contest.[176]
1972 Canada Canadian federal Selkirk 0.08400% 30 17,872 New Democrat incumbent Doug Rowland defeated Progressive Conservative Dean Whiteway.[136]
1966 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives 2nd Bristol 0.08436% 28 16,609 Democrat Edward P. Coury defeated fellow Democrat Ronald Anthony Pina.[387]
1924 United States Iowa United States Senate Iowa 0.08439% 755 447,706 Smith Brookhart won the election by 755 votes and was initially seated in the Senate without incident. After Brookhart was seated, Steck contested the election results. The investigation and recount took longer than a year, but on April 12, 1926 by a vote of 45–41, the Senate overturned the election results and gave the seat to Steck. This was the first time the Senate voted to overturn an election after the winner was seated.[379][388][389] The recount was contentious with claims of fraud and destroyed ballots, and with the special subcommittee inspecting each discarded ballot to determine voter intent. In the end the fact that Democrats wanted Steck elected and Republicans wanted to punish Brookhart for failing to support Coolidge, partisan politics likely did him in.[390]
1974 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives Democratic Primary 41st Middlesex 0.08443% 3 1,778 Frank A. Antonelli topped Joseph Whelan by 3 votes and then lost the general election. He would win the nomination two more times and seek it two more than that, but never win the seat.[391]
1978 United States South Dakota United States House of Representatives South Dakota's 1st District 0.08512% 110 64,683 Democrat Tom Daschle looked to have lost on election night, but an official canvas gave him a 6 vote margin.[392] The final tally gave him a 14 vote lead and a recount increased that to 105. Daschle was seated and his opponent Leo Thorsness appealed the recount in state court. A review of 1,084 contested ballots increased Daschle's lead to 110 votes, though a final count of the vote was not reported. Thorsness then contested the election in the House, but the case was dismissed as the House was satisfied with the count of the Iowa court and found no grounds to change the results.[176]
2015 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Gower 0.08518% 27 15,862 Labour candidate Liz Evans was defeated by the Conservative Byron Davies by 27 votes, less than 0.1% of votes cast, which made it the most marginal Conservative seat going into the next election. Davies' victory brought 105 consecutive years of Labour representation to an end, but Labour won the seat back in the 2017 general election with a majority of 3,269.
1858 United States New York (state) United States House of Representatives New York's 9th District 0.0852% 13 7,637 Anti-Administration Democrat John B. Haskin defeated Democrat Gouverneur Kemble, 7,637–7,624. A third candidate Edward A. Andrews won 545 votes.[393][394]
1998 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives 1st Plymouth 0.0858% 11 6,417 Republican Vinny M. deMacedo defeated Democrat Joseph R. Gallitano.[395]
2018 Pakistan Pakistani general Kasur-IV 0.0860% 249 124,644 Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's Talib Hassan Nakai defeated Pakistan Muslim League-N's Rana Muhammad Hayat 124,644-124,395.[396]
1977 United States Vermont Vermont House of Representatives Windham-4 District 0.087% 1 572 On election night, Democrat Robert Emond was declared the victor over incumbent Republican Sydney Nixon by one vote. Nixon then petitioned for a recount in Windham Superior Court under the provisions of 17 V.S.A. § 1361. The recount committee in that court found Nixon to be the winner by one vote and the court gave him a certificate of election.

However, a House committee did its own recount and found Emond to be the winner by one vote (572–571 according to one site[397]). Rather than force the full House to vote on the recount report, Nixon simply resigned, thereby giving Emond the win.[116][398][399][400][401]

(Note that the year of this contested election is incorrectly given by many sites as 1997.)

2000 Canada Canadian federal Laval Centre 0.08851% 42 23,746 Bloc Québécois MP Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral narrowly edged out Liberal Pierre Lafleur.[242]
2012 France French legislative Eure second constituency 0.08928% 39 21,860 Socialist Jean-Louis Destans defeated incumbent Jean-Pierre Nicolas[402]
1846 United States New Jersey United States House of Representatives New Jersey's 3rd District 0.0895% 16 8,942 John Runk and Isaac G. Farlee 8,942–8,926 votes.[403] There was a dispute over whether some 36 Princeton students' votes were legal due to residency. The majority of the committee investigating the contest chose to consider them as residents and the minority that they were not, which they estimated would have given Farlee the win by 3 votes. The full House voted that Farlee was ineligible and then voted on a resolution to remove Runk too and declare the seat vacant. The vote on Runk was a tie, broken by the Speaker in Runk's favor.[404]
1880 United States California United States presidential California 0.08960% 144 80,426 Democrat Winfield Scott Hancock took advantage of the opposition to Chinese immigration for the first Democratic win in California since 1856, but narrowly lost the electoral vote and the popular vote to Garfield.[405] The US presidential election is not decided by popular vote, but Garfield won the national popular vote by only 1,898 votes or 0.0213%.[a]
1908 United States Missouri United States presidential Missouri 0.09066% 629 347,203 William Howard Taft wins a comfortable first term but takes Missouri by fewer than a thousand votes.[413]
1932 United States Connecticut United States House of Representatives Connecticut's 5th District 0.0926% 78 42,132 Republican Edward W. Goss defeated his challenger Martin Gormley by 78 votes. Gormley challenged the election in the House of Representatives arguing that "fraud, irregularities, corruption, and deceit" at a voting booth in Waterbury had cost him the votes to win. The House investigation showed confusion at the polling place, but no recorded complaints and inadequate evidence to overturn the election.[176]
2000 United States Washington (state) United States Senate Washington 0.09301% 2,229 1,199,437[414] Democrat Maria Cantwell unseated Republican Slade Gorton following a mandatory recount.[415]
1961 United States Virginia Virginia House of Delegates District 66 0.09323% 5 2,684 James B. Fugate (D) defeated Dr. Conley E. Greear (R). The initial count showed the two tied. But two recounts put Fugate up by 5.[416][417]
2018 Italy Italian Senate Ancona 0.09328% 264 93,601 M5S candidate Mauro Coltorti defeated CDX candidate Giuliano Pazzaglini.
1860 United States Virginia United States presidential Virginia 0.09347% 156 74,481 In a four-way race, Constitutional Union candidate John Bell defeated Southern Democrat John C. Breckinridge, 74,481–74,325, with a further 18,085 votes split between Democrat Stephen A. Douglas and Republican Abraham Lincoln. However, Lincoln won the Electoral College.[418]
1874 Canada Canadian federal Leeds South 0.09372% 3 1,602 Conservative David Ford Jones beat challenger W. H. Fredenburgh.[419]
1835 United States North Carolina United States House of Representatives North Carolina's 12th District 0.0938% 7 3,733 Anti-Jacksonian James Graham defeated National Republican David Newland by 7 votes. Newland contested the race and a review of ballots by the House gave the election to Newland by 12 votes, but the House ignored the committee's recommendation to replace Graham with Newland and voted 100-99 to instead vacate the seat.[44][420] A special election was held in the summer of 1836 which Graham won easily.
1976 United States Illinois United States House of Representatives Illinois's 10th District 0.0941% 201 106,804 Democrat Abner V. Mikva was declared the winner by 201 votes. Following a discovery recount and the failure to get a judicial recount, Republican Samuel H. Young contested the election arguing that there were election irregularities or errors. The Committee on House Administration decided that there Young had failed to provide sufficient evidence to support his claims and awarded the seat to Mikva. The election was a rematch of the 1974 race, and in that race Young had also contested the election to the House claiming fraud and violations of the law and that case was also dismissed for lack of evidence.[176]
1848 United States Ohio United States House of Representatives Ohio's 10th District 0.0947% 16 8,454 Democrat Charles Sweetzer defeated Whig Daniel Duncan 8,454–8,438.[421]
1962 Canada Canadian federal St. John's West 0.09495% 24 12,650 Liberal Richard Cashin defeated Progressive Conservative incumbent William Joseph Browne.[422]
1857 United States Connecticut United States House of Representatives Connecticut's 4th District 0.0953% 16 8,403 Democrat William D. Bishop defeated a Republican named Orris S. Ferry 8403–8387.[423]
1923 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Hertfordshire, Hemel Hempstead 0.0956% 17 8,892 Liberal Party challenger John Freeman Dunn defeated Conservative Party incumbent J C C Davidson 8,892–8,875. Dunn would regain the seat in 1924.[424]
1956 United States Maine United States House of Representatives Maine's 1st District 0.0957% 111 58,024 In the initial count Republican Robert Hale won the race by 29 votes. A recount was held in which more than 4,000 ballots were disputed. Hale sued for a certificate, which the Governor first refused and then issued after asking the Supreme Court of Maine for decisions on matters of law. James Oliver, his opponent, then contested the election in the House. After a review of the disputed ballots, the House Committee ruled that Hale had won by a vote of 58,024-57,913.[425]
1922 United Kingdom United Kingdom general Nottingham, Central 0.0959% 22 11,481 Liberal Party candidate Reginald Berkeley defeated Conservative Party incumbent Albert Atkey 11,481–11,459. Berkeley was later and briefly a Hollywood screenwriter.[426]
1998 United States Nevada United States Senate Nevada 0.0961% 401 208,621 Democratic incumbent Harry Reid defeated Republican John Ensign who did not contest the results.[427]
1986 United States Vermont Vermont House of Representatives Chittenden 7-4 District 0.09625% 1 520 Ben Truman (D) defeated Terry Bouricius (I) by 1 vote.[428] Bouricius won the 1990 rematch by 54 votes.
2000 United States Montana Montana Democratic Primary Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction 0.09650% 61 31,634 In this 3-way race, the initial tally for Linda McCulloch, Gail Gray, and Mike Schwinden was 31,572–31,508–28,739. Gray requested a recount and McCulloch still won by 61 votes: 31,634–31,573–28,765 votes.[429] McCulloch would also go on to win the general election.[430]
1839 United States Virginia United States House of Representatives Virginia's 15th District 0.09652% 4 2,074 Democrat William Lucas defeated Whig Richard Barton 2,074–2,070.[431][432]
1984 Canada Canadian federal Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke 0.09752% 38 19,502 Liberal MP Len Hopkins narrowly edged out Progressive Conservative Don Whillans.[433]
2020 United States California United States House of Representatives California's 25th District 0.0982% 333 169,638 Republican Mike Garcia defeated Democrat Christy Smith by 333 votes. On election day, Smith appeared to be up by 1,287 votes but by the next day she was down by 157 votes. Further vote drops extended Garcia's lead and at the end of the month, Smith conceded.[434]
2002 United States Massachusetts Massachusetts House of Representatives 3rd Barnstable 0.0983% 17 8,655 Democrat Matthew C. Patrick defeated Republican Larry F. Wheatley.[435]
1884 United States New York (state) United States presidential New York 0.09844% 1,149 563,154 Democrat Grover Cleveland won his home state by less than 1,200 votes to earn New York's 36 electoral votes and clinch an Electoral College victory of 219-182. A swing of less than 0.1% would have made Republican James G. Blaine president with an Electoral College tally of 218-183.[436]
1878 Canada Canadian federal Jacques Cartier 0.09911% 2 1,010 Conservative Désiré Girouard defeated Liberal incumbent Rodolphe Laflamme.[437]
1852 United States New York (state) United States House of Representatives New York's 26th District 0.09956% 17 8,546 Democrat Andrew Oliver defeated the Whig candidate, James H. Woods, 8,546–8,529.[438]
2017 France French legislative (2nd round) Loire's 1st constituency 0.09972% 23 11,544[439] Régis Juanico of the Socialist Party (PS), a supporter of Benoît Hamon, held onto his seat narrowly against Magalie Viallon, candidate of La République En Marche! (REM).[322]|-

List of close election results between parties passing the threshold in party-list proportional races

Year Country /
Election Legislature District/Race Margin
Total votes cast for
higher-placed party
1992 Czechoslovakia Czech Republic Czech legislative Czech National Council Statewide results 0.05% 3,321 387,026 Statewide, the far-right Rally for the Republic – Republican Party of Czechoslovakia (SPR–RSČ, sixth place), and center-right Civic Democratic Alliance (ODA) were only 0.05% apart while Movement for Autonomous Democracy–Party for Moravia and Silesia (HSD–SMS) was only 0.06% behind ODA.[440]
0.06% 3,617 383,705
1996 Czech Republic Czech legislative Chamber of Deputies National results 0.07% 4,277 489,349 Nationally, the centrist Christian and Democratic Union – Czechoslovak People's Party and the far-right Rally for the Republic – Republican Party of Czechoslovakia were only 0.07% apart.
1999 Austria Austria legislative National Council National results 0.0167% 415 1,244,087 Nationally, the far-right Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ, second place) and the center-right Austrian People's Party (ÖVP, third place) were only 415 votes apart. They won 52 seats each in the 183-seat national council. This is significant as the two parties had enough seats to form a majority coalition government on their own. The traditional rule is that the Chancellor comes from the largest party in the coalition, but since the FPÖ and ÖVP each had an equal number of seats, the ranking between them had to be decided based on the popular vote - which would mean a Chancellor from the far-right, which drew domestic and international controversy.[441] Eventually, an FPÖ-ÖVP coalition government was formed, but under an ÖVP Chancellor.
2017 Argentina La Pampa Province Argentina legislative Chamber of Deputies La Pampa 0.0395% 76 96,121 The first-placed Justicialist Party won 96,121 votes to second-placed Cambiemos' 96,045. The Justicialist Party won 2 Deputies and Cambiemos 1 Deputy.
2023 GermanyBerlin Berlin state Abgeordnetenhaus State results 0.003% 53 279,017 The SPD of incumbent mayor Franziska Giffey got slightly more votes than Grüne led by Bettina Jarasch destroying their chances of forming a Green-led government.

List of parties close to the threshold in proportional races

Year Country /
Election Legislature District/Race Party Votes
Electoral threshold
in percentage
Electoral threshold
in votes
2010 Slovakia Slovak parliamentary National Council National results Slovak National Party 5.08% 128,908 5% 126,470 0.08% 2,438 SNS narrowly crosses 5% threshold.[442]
1990 GermanyNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia state Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia Statewide results The Greens 5.05% 469,098 5% 464,599 0.05% 4,499 Grüne narrowly passed the threshold by 0.05%
2019 GermanyBrandenburg Brandenburg state parliament Landtag of Brandenburg Statewide results Brandenburg United Civic Movements/Free Voters 5.05% 63,851 5% 63,256 0.05% 595 BVB/FW narrowly crosses threshold.
2006 Hungary Hungarian parliamentary Országgyűlés National results Hungarian Democratic Forum 5.04% 272,831 5% 270,403 0.04% 2,428 MDF narrowly crossed the threshold.
2016 Serbia Serbian parliamentary National Assembly National results DveriDemocratic Party of Serbia 5.04% 190,530 5% 188,947 0.04% 1,583 Dveri–DSS narrowly crossed the threshold.
1988 Denmark Danish general Folketing National results Christian People's Party 2.04% 68,047 2% 66,583 0.04% 1,464 KF narrowly crossed the threshold.
2014 European UnionHungary European Parliament European Parliament Hungary Politics Can Be Different 5.04% 116,904 5% 115,975 0.04% 929 LMP wins one MEP.
2012 GermanySaarland Saarland state parliament Landtag of Saarland Statewide results Alliance 90/The Greens 5.04% 24,252 5% 24,065 0.04% 187 Greens narrowly crossed the threshold.
2013 GermanyHesse Hessian state Landtag of Hesse Statewide results Free Democratic Party 5.03% 157,451 5% 156,540 0.03% 911 FDP narrowly passed the threshold by 0.03%
2016 Serbia Serbian parliamentary National Assembly National results Alliance for a Better Serbia 5.02% 189,564 5% 188,947 0.02% 617 CZBS narrowly crossed the threshold.
2023 ItalyFriuli Venezia Giulia Friuli-Venezia Giulia regional Regional Council of Friuli-Venezia Giulia Statewide results Slovene Union 1.02% 4,016 1% 3,950 0.02% 66 SSk narrowly crosses threshold for linguistic minorities.[443]
2019 GermanyThuringia Thuringia state parliament Landtag of Thuringia Statewide results Free Democratic Party 5.01% 55,493 5% 55,420 0.01% 73 FDP narrowly crosses threshold, later forms 28-day government.[444]
2023 ItalyFriuli Venezia Giulia Friuli-Venezia Giulia regional Regional Council of Friuli-Venezia Giulia Statewide results Open – Left FVG 1.51% 5,957 1.5% 5,925 0.01% 32 OPEN narrowly crosses threshold for parties inside of coalitions.[443]
1968 Denmark Danish general Folketing National results Left Socialists 2.003% 57,184 2% 57,093 0.003% 91 Left Socialists narrowly crossed the threshold in their first election.
2020 Georgia (country) Georgian parliamentary Parliament National results Georgian Labour Party 1.003% 19,314 1% 19,244 0.003% 70 Georgian Labour Party narrowly crosses threshold buth withdrew from parliament later.
2018 Bosnia and HerzegovinaFederation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnian general House of Representatives Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Party of Democratic Activity 3.001% 29,726 3% 29,676 0.001% 50 The Party of Democratic Activity (A-SDA) had already won enough votes for a direct seat in their district, however if they had not done so, they would have been awarded a compensational seat and still be represented in the House of Representatives.[445]
1959 Netherlands Dutch general Second Chamber National results Reformed Political League 0.6624% 39,972 0.6667% 39,998 -0.00043% -26 The party initially had enough votes to get into the Tweede Kamer and the leader of the party, L.P. Laning, met with the Dutch Queen Juliana to discuss forming the government a day after the election. However, the party was ultimately 26 votes short, and its seat awarded to the PvdA.[446]
2019 European UnionGreece European Parliament European Parliament Greece MeRA25 2.999% 169,635 3% 169,684 -0.001% -49 MeRA25 narrowly missed the threshold making their European party DiEM25 unrepresented in the European Parliament.
2022 GermanySaarland Saarland state parliament Landtag of Saarland Statewide results Alliance 90/The Greens 4.995% 22,598 5% 22,621 -0.005% -23 Greens narrowly missed the threshold by 0.005%.[447]
2023 ItalyFriuli Venezia Giulia Friuli-Venezia Giulia regional Regional Council of Friuli-Venezia Giulia Statewide results Together Free 3.98% 15,712 4% 15,799 -0.02% -87 IL narrowly missed the threshold by 0.02%.[443]
1997 GermanyHamburg Hamburg state Hamburg Parliament Statewide results German People's Union 4.98% 40,957 5% 41,126 -0.02% -169 DVU narrowly missed the threshold by 0.02%
1971 Denmark Danish general Folketing National results Christian People's Party 1.98% 57,072 2% 57,678 -0.02% -606 KF narrowly missed the threshold in their first election.
1980 GermanyNorth Rhine-Westphalia North Rhine-Westphalia state Landtag of North Rhine-Westphalia Statewide results Free Democratic Party 4.98% 489,225 5% 490,926 -0.02% -1,699 FDP narrowly missed the threshold by 0.02%
1977 Netherlands Dutch general Second Chamber National results Reformatory Political Federation 0.640% 53,220 0.667% 55,451 -0.027% -2,231 RPF narrowly missed the threshold in their first election.
2015 GermanyBremen (state) Bremen state parliament Bürgerschaft of Bremen Bremerhaven Alternative for Germany 4.97% 7,936 5% 7,985 -0.03% -49 AfD narrowly missed the threshold in Bremerhaven and only get seats from Bremen.[448]
2022 Latvia Latvian parliamentary Saeima National results Development/For! 4.97% 45,452 5% 45,701 -0.03% -249 Development/For narrowly missed the 5% threshold, and initially had enough to obtain seats in the Saeima but eventually failed to meet the threshold within the last minute.[449]
1992 GermanySchleswig-Holstein Schleswig-Holstein state Landtag of Schleswig-Holstein Statewide results Alliance 90/The Greens 4.97% 74,014 5% 74,396 -0.03% -382 Grüne narrowly missed the threshold by 0.03%
2020 Slovakia Slovak parliamentary National Council National results Progressive SlovakiaTogether 6.97% 200,780 7% 201,706 -0.03% -926 PS/Spolu needed 7% to meet the threshold as a coalition of two parties.[450]
2020 GermanyHamburg Hamburg state Hamburg Parliament Statewide results Free Democratic Party 4.97% 202,059 5% 203,118 -0.03% -1,059 FDP missed the 5% threshold.
2019 Israel Israel legislative Knesset National results The New Right 3.22% 138,598 3.25% 140,052 -0.03% -1,454 The New Right party missed the threshold of 3.25% necessary to obtain seats in the Knesset. Initially, the margin was close enough that absentee votes could affect it;[451] however, after absentee ballots were counted the party remained out of the Knesset, and demanded a recount.[452]
2019 European UnionSlovakia European Parliament European Parliament Slovakia Party of the Hungarian Community 4.96% 48,929 5% 49,284 -0.04% -355 SMK-MKP lost their MEP thus no Hungarian party from Slovakia won seats.
2014 Slovenia Slovenian parliamentary National Assembly National results Slovenian People's Party 3.95% 34,548 4% 43,715 -0.05% -9,167 SLS narrowly missed the threshold for the first time.
2016 Slovakia Slovak parliamentary National Council National results Christian Democratic Movement 4.94% 128,908 5% 130,388 -0.06% -1,480 KDH narrowly missed the threshold by 0.06%.[453]

Distribution of elections by winning margin

Close elections not only demonstrate the effect of individual voters, they may reflect extra efforts from candidates or supporters when elections are close.[454][455]

Election contests, by winning margin
Geographic area Dates Includes
No. of
No. of
No. won
by 1 vote
% of elections where winning margin was up to Sources
0.1% 0.2% 0.5% 1% 2% 5% 90%
Colorado 2017 yes 511 7 3 1.8% 2.2% 3.9% 5.3% 7.2% 16.4% 99.0% CO SoS
Massachusetts 2014-17 most 456 0 0 0.2% 0.2% 1.5% 2.4% 4.8% 10.7% 98.7% MA SoS
West Virginia 2014-17 few 879 0 2 0.6% 1.0% 3.0% 4.4% 8.8% 21.3% 100.0% WV SoS

In the United States in 2018, 88 state legislative elections were decided by less than half a percent.[456]

See also


  1. ^ There is considerable disagreement among historians about the exact vote totals. As Kenneth Ackerman explained in his 2003 book: "Because (a) voting was decentralized, (b) states certified electoral votes, not popular votes as 'official', and (c) Democratic votes were divided among various splinter groups, there remains today a range of published 'final results' for the 1880 presidential popular vote."[406] The federal government lists the margin of victory as 1,898, which is used in this article.[407] Others give the margin as 7,018;[408][409] 7,368;[410] 9,070;[411] or 9,457[412] among others.


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