Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

The strategic effect of the plurality vote at the district level


Bochsler, Daniel (2017). The strategic effect of the plurality vote at the district level. Electoral Studies, 47:94-112.

Abstract

The plurality vote (first-past-the-post) is one of the most restrictive electoral systems used for parliamentary elections. Empirically, its deterring effect on small political parties has been widely studied at the national level, while theoretical arguments highlight its strategic effect at the district level. This paper argues that the strategic effect, reducing the votes expressed for minor parties in plurality vote systems, is uneven across districts. The strongest strategic effect is expected in very competitive constituencies, where the two strongest candidates are in close competition with each other. The paper estimates the effect empirically, based on electoral results for minor political parties from six parliamentary democracies using the plurality vote. The methodology proposed in this paper allows me to separate sociological or geographical factors from strategic factors affecting party support. Results show that due to the strategic effect, minor parties lose some 15% of their votes in very competitive districts.

Abstract

The plurality vote (first-past-the-post) is one of the most restrictive electoral systems used for parliamentary elections. Empirically, its deterring effect on small political parties has been widely studied at the national level, while theoretical arguments highlight its strategic effect at the district level. This paper argues that the strategic effect, reducing the votes expressed for minor parties in plurality vote systems, is uneven across districts. The strongest strategic effect is expected in very competitive constituencies, where the two strongest candidates are in close competition with each other. The paper estimates the effect empirically, based on electoral results for minor political parties from six parliamentary democracies using the plurality vote. The methodology proposed in this paper allows me to separate sociological or geographical factors from strategic factors affecting party support. Results show that due to the strategic effect, minor parties lose some 15% of their votes in very competitive districts.

Statistics

Altmetrics

Downloads

0 downloads since deposited on 14 Dec 2017
0 downloads since 12 months

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Language:English
Date:June 2017
Deposited On:14 Dec 2017 11:15
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 19:36
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0261-3794
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2016.11.019

Download

Content: Published Version
Language: English
Filetype: PDF - Registered users only
Size: 1MB
View at publisher