Vote splitting occurs when a group of people (say left wing voters or right wing voters) vote for several parties and can let a third party win with less than a majority (also known as a plurality). Recent examples include the US example of Ross Perot weaking Republicans , or the Canadian example of Reform+Progressive Conservatives versus Liberals.

In a multi party system with a house of commons, such as Canada the third place party can often become a kingmaker, by forming a coalition government with either of the first two parties. It leads to interesting politics.