Or Tuttnauer, Reuven Y. Hazan
Government–Opposition Relations and the Vote of No Confidence

Political Studies, In Press: (publ. online before print)
ISSN: 0032-3217 (print), 1467-9248 (online)

The vote of no-confidence is the primary mechanism through which the principle of government accountability to the legislature – the defining feature of parliamentary democracy – is achieved. Yet, no research has been devoted to its influence on the relations between the government and the mechanism’s main users – the opposition. This article attempts to fill this lacuna by theorising how restrictiveness in the vote of no-confidence influences the opposition’s strategies vis-à-vis the government in legislative voting. We delineate the influence of the vote of no-confidence on the opposition via its preference to pursue more cooperative strategies, as opposed to conflictual ones, distinguishing between the two stages of the vote of no-confidence – initiating and voting. We empirically explore the relation between the vote of no-confidence and the voting behaviour of 59 opposition parties in 16 countries, showing that greater restrictions on both stages of the vote of no-confidence correlate with less conflictual opposition behaviour.