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Expectations about Coalitions and Strategic Voting under Proportional Representation

Michael Herrmann ()
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Michael Herrmann: Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Postal: MZES, A5, 6, Postfach D-68131 Mannheim

No 08-28, Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications from Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim

Abstract: In this paper, I suggest that voters may act strategically in proportional representation elections with post-election coalition building. Based on a stylized setup involving three possible coalitions of four parties on a single policy dimension, voters whose preferred coalition is least likely to win are predicted to strategically cast their ballot for a centrist party. By contrast, those who perceive a chance for their preferred coalition to become the next government are predicted to strategically vote for a non-centrist party. I test these predictions against the standard model of sincere proximity voting, using a unique dataset on voter expectations in the Austrian parliamentary election 2006. Analyses show that believing one's preferred coalition is non-viable raises the probability of voting for a centrist vs. non-centrist party while believing one's preferred coalition to be viable lowers the probability of voting for a centrist vs. non-centrist party.

Pages: 32 pages
Date: 2008-12-17
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cdm and nep-pol
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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