Government Formation and Strategic Voting in Multi-Party Systems: Voting for Coalitions in the Netherlands

Hanna Bäck, Martin Rosema

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    Voters may have different strategic reasons to vote for a party that is not their
    favourite. The best known form of strategic voting takes place in majoritarian
    electoral systems, where citizens may decide to not waste their vote by
    supporting a candidate that has no chance of winning the seat. This incentive to
    vote strategically is absent in proportional systems with large district
    magnitude. We argue that in multi-party systems another form of strategic
    voting takes place, as considerations about future coalitions may also stimulate
    citizens to vote strategically. We analyse this for Netherlands on the basis of
    the Dutch Parliamentary Election Study 2006, which contained a novel series
    of survey items aimed at identifying such considerations. The results suggest
    that Dutch voters did indeed vote strategically on the basis of their preferences
    for the future coalition. Voters’ estimates of the probability that particular
    coalitions would form, on the other hand, had virtually no impact.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages25
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008
    Event58th PSA Annual Conference 2008 - University of Swansea, Swansea, United Kingdom
    Duration: 1 Apr 20083 Apr 2008
    Conference number: 58


    Conference58th PSA Annual Conference 2008
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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