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Coalition signals as cues for party and coalition preferences

[conference paper]

Meffert, Michael F.; Gschwend, Thomas

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Abstract "Coalition signals can offer crucial information to voters during political campaigns. In multiparty systems, they reduce the number of theoretically possible coalitions to a much smaller set of plausible and likely coalitions. Strategic voters who care more about the formation of the next coalition government than supporting the preferred party might, for example, defect from the preferred party in favor of another party that might produce a more desirable coalition government. For other voters, coalition signals might merely elicit affective responses which can shift the vote. In this study, we investigate whether and how different coalition signals affect vote intentions and activate different party and coalition preferences. We report the results of a nationally representative survey experiment conducted before the 2006 Austrian General Election. Respondents encountered four vignettes with hypothetical coalitions, each followed by the standard vote intention question. The results indicate that voters are responsive to coalition signals, and especially voters with two preferred parties tend to change their vote intentions. Finally, a more detailed look at Green Party voters suggests that individual party and coalition preferences help to explain the direction of these changes." (authors abstract)
Keywords multi-party system; coalition; coalition formation; election; voting behavior; strategy; party; preference; Austria
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
City Mannheim
Page/Pages 26 p.
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
data provider This metadata entry was indexed by the Special Subject Collection Social Sciences, USB Cologne