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Voting for Coalitions? The Role of Coalition Preferences and Expectations in Voting Behavior

  • Meffert, Michael F.


    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Gschwend, Thomas


    (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

Coalition governments are the norm in many countries, even though voters can only cast their vote for an individual party, not a specific coalition. Some voters might nevertheless cast their vote in a way that maximizes the probability that a preferred coalition will be formed after the election. In the paper, we investigate the effect of coalition preferences and expectations on vote decisions, above and beyond the preferences for specific parties. We focus in particular on voters’ ability to form differentiated expectations about possible coalitions, the likelihood of a majority and the likelihood that the parties will be able to agree on a coalition. We report the results of a nationally representative survey conducted before the 2006 Austrian General Election. We collected detailed information about respondents' party and coalition preferences and expectations about the electoral outcomes. Green Party voters are used to demonstrate that the effect of coalition preferences depends on whether or not voters expect a coalition to succeed.

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Paper provided by Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim & Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim in its series Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications with number 07-64.

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Length: 25 pages
Date of creation: 23 Oct 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:07-64
Note: Financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, SFB 504, at the University of Mannheim, is gratefully acknowledged.
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  1. Meffert, Michael F. & Gschwend, Thomas, 2007. "Strategic Voting under Proportional Representation and Coalition Governments: A Simulation and Laboratory Experiment," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 07-55, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  2. Gschwend, Thomas, 2004. "Ticket-Splitting and Strategic Voting," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 05-06, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
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