Public Opinion and Voting Behavior

Voter Preferences, Local Party Competitiveness, Turnout, and Strategic Voting: Deterrents to Voting are Unequally Distributed

Authors

Abstract

Voters are deterred from casting a vote and more likely to vote strategically if their preferred choice is less competitive in the electoral district. We use 2019 Canadian Election Study data and find that respondents' answers to a 'How Likely are you to Vote' question depends on their estimate of their preferred party's local chances of winning, relative to other parties. This deterrent effect on turnout from the competitiveness of  voter's preferred party is concentrated among certain parties (NDP, Green, People's Party of Canada), meaning that voters with particular policy perspectives are systematically deterred from voting, relative to other voters. Furthermore, we find that strategic voting is also heavily concentrated among voters who prefer parties outside the nationally most competitive two parties.

Content

Thumbnail image of Cutler Hodgson Rivard APSA Preprint.pdf

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