Strategic Defection Across Elections, Parties, and Voters<sup>*</sup>

André Blais and Thomas Gschwend

in Citizens, Context, and Choice

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780199599233
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191595790 | DOI:
Strategic Defection Across Elections, Parties, and Voters*

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This chapter examines the propensity to strategically defect from one's preferred party. The study uses CSES module 2 and covers twenty-five democratic lower house elections. This chapter finds that nonpartisans and supporters of weak parties are more prone to cast a strategic vote and that the less informed are as likely to strategically defect as the most informed. The electoral system, the degree of disproportionality and polarization, and the number of parties have no direct effect. The only significant contextual effect is a conditional one. While strategic desertion is almost exclusively at the expense of weak parties in the most disproportional systems, the bias is much more muted in the most proportional systems.

Keywords: voting behavior; electoral systems; strategic voting; polarization; disproportionality; party systems; defection; CSES

Chapter.  6877 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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