A belief in Calvinism that God elected those who would be based unconditionally, not based on any merit of their own. In eternity past God determined those he would save and he predestined them for salvation.
Numerous letters in the New Testament are addressed to or speak of the elect. The Calvinistic approach is that these are saved individuals God predestined beforehand and because of man’s total depravity only those who were elected will be saved. Arminians claim that election is not unconditional but rather based upon foreknowledge.