The Winner–Loser Gap: Contours and Boundaries

Christopher J. Anderson, André Blais, Shaun Bowler, Todd Donovan and Ola Listhaug

in Losers' Consent

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276387
Published online July 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602719 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

 The Winner–Loser Gap: Contours and Boundaries

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Investigates the gap in winners’ and losers’ attitudes with regard to different kinds of attitudes about the political system across established and newly emerging democracies. The results show that being in the political majority generally translates into more positive attitudes toward government, while losers have more negative attitudes toward the political system. We find that there usually is a gap in winners’ and losers’ sense of whether elections are fair, their evaluations of the performance of the political system, as well as feelings about whether government is responsive. Moreover, losing elections appears to diminish people’s support for democratic principles overall, and losers exhibit a heightened propensity to engage in political protest.

Keywords: democratic principles; efficacy; election outcomes; elections; fairness; losers; protest; responsiveness; satisfaction with democracy; system support; winners

Chapter.  7045 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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