Tuesday Seminar – 10 November

Vote switching and Coalition-Directed Voting: A Panel Study of Repeat Elections in Israel

Liran Harsgor (University of Haifa)
Reut Itzkovitch-Malka (The Open University of Israel) 
Or Tuttnauer (MZES Universität Mannheim) 

A growing body of knowledge highlights the determinants of vote switching, such as issues, party positions and personality. This literature, however, does not take into account coalition-directed voting, which has been found to matter for vote choice in many parliamentary democracies. According to this literature voters are likely to consider not only which party they prefer, but also which coalition they prefer and how realistic a chance it has of forming. However, empirically distinguishing between vote switching derived from party considerations to switching derived from coalition-directed considerations is not straightforward. We argue that a context of “repeat elections” due to a failure to form a government may be uniquely beneficial for such an endeavor. In this case voters already know the distribution of votes between parties and are also informed by the various failed moves towards coalition building. Such context provides the voters with an opportunity of changing their vote according to possible coalition-building consideration while already knowing the approximate distribution of party preferences in the electorate. We take advantage of the extraordinary Israeli political context in 2019-20, in which three election-cycles were held within less than a year without a coalition forming. We utilize a unique panel data based on three original online surveys. Findings show that voters’ coalition expectations affect their likelihood of vote switching.  

Contact Semih Çakır if you would like to participate in the seminar.

This content has been updated on 6 November 2020 at 18 h 06 min.