In elections, voters sometimes compensate for post-election bargaining processes by electing parties that are more extreme than themselves. We investigate compensatory voting in direct democracy. Our goals are to develop and test a measure of compensatory voting in direct legislation and assess its extent of compensatory voting. Empirically, we draw on the case of Switzerland, a country with frequent popular votes. We operationalize compensatory voting as voting ‘yes’ on a popular initiative in spite of endorsing arguments that speak against this initiative, under the condition of being well-informed about the initiative. Using data from post-ballot surveys on 17’570 individuals having voted on 63 popular initiatives in the period 1993 to 2015, our analysis shows that compensatory voting has not signiﬁcantly increased in Switzerland in this period.