Strategic and semi-strategic voting under different electoral systems

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Strategic voting is often associated with plurality systems. This paper argues that strategic considerations also play a role in elections held under other electoral systems. Strategic considerations take various forms, such as which party (or candidate) receives a majority or plurality, which coalition is formed, and who becomes prime minister. The impact of the latter two factors is examined in the context of four Dutch parliamentary elections (characterised by PR, a single district, 150 seats, and a threshold of 0.67 per cent). The findings show that both factors played a double role. First, about 10 per cent of the voters appear to have voted strategically on the basis of these considerations. Second, among the even more sizeable group of voters who liked two or more parties equally well, strategic considerations were apparently used as tie-breaker; this phenomenon is referred to as ‘semi-strategic voting’.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2004
EventPoliticologenetmaal 2004: Annual Meeting of the Belgium and Dutch Political Science Organisation - Antwerp, Belgium
Duration: 27 May 200428 May 2004


ConferencePoliticologenetmaal 2004


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