Thomas Gschwend
Ticket-Splitting and Strategic Voting in Mixed Electoral Systems

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Mannheimer Zentrum für Europäische Sozialforschung: Arbeitspapiere; 61
ISSN: 1437-8574

This work attempts to refocus the discussion about strategic voting from its narrow focus on single-member district systems. It provides several contributions to the literature on strategic voting, ticket-splitting and on electoral systems. My first contribution is to allow the electoral institutions to vary, thereby opening up the possibility to provide different incentives to operate at the same time for the same voter. I offer a theory that particular institutions not only determine the degree of strategic voting, but also the kind of strategies voters employ. In mixed electoral systems strategic voting has two facets. Strategic voters employ either a wasted-vote strategy or a coalition insurance strategy. My second contribution is to provide evidence that people vary in their proclivity to vote strategically, as determined by various motivational factors as well as their capability to comprehend the strategic implications that are offered by particular electoral rules. Evidence supporting these contributions is stemming from an appropriate choice-model using individual-level data from the 1998 German National Election Study.