Michael F. Meffert, Thomas Gschwend
Strategic Coalition Voting: Evidence from Austria

Electoral Studies, 2010: 29, issue 3, pp. 339-349
ISSN: 0261-3794

Strategic coalition voting assumes that voters cast their vote in a way that maximizes the probability that a preferred coalition will be formed after the election. We identify three decision contexts that provide incentives for strategic coalition voting: (1) a rental vote of a major party supporter in favor of a preferred junior coalition partner perceived as uncertain to pass a minimum vote threshold, (2) avoiding a wasted vote for the preferred small party that is not expected to pass the minimum vote threshold, and (3) explicit strategic coalition voting to influence the composition and/or portfolio of the next coalition government. The results based on a nationally representative survey conducted before the 2006 Austrian general election generally support these hypotheses.