Affect versus Cognition

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Citizens tend to overestimate the electoral success of their preferred party. We investigate the extent to which Belgian voters overestimate the result of the party they vote for and what factors explain which voters do so more than others. Our focus is on the impact of educational attainment and partisan attachment on overestimating one’s party’s result. Previous research in this field relied on data gathered in the months before the elections, introducing a substantial amount of over-time variation and uncertainty in the measurements of citizens’ vote share estimations. As an alternative, we investigate voters’ estimations of their party’s electoral success by means of data gathered in an exit poll survey. Our results show a strong impact of partisan attachments on overestimations, suggesting that a mechanism of wishful thinking is at play. Furthermore, we find that the extent to which partisan attachments increase citizens’ overestimations depends on voters’ level of education.


Vote share estimations; Wishful thinking; Elections; Exit poll; Belgium


Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 16 avril 2018 à 8 h 58 min.