High Turnout in the Low Countries

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We use a quasi-experimental framework to test the conventional wisdom that left-of-center parties benefit from higher turnout by analyzing the partisan effects of the abolition of compulsory voting in the Netherlands. Fixed effects, multilevel, and matching models of party family vote shares in the Netherlands before and after the reform–and in reference to a control group of Belgian party families–show consistent evidence the voting reform led to an increase in the vote share of Dutch social democratic parties and a decrease in the vote share won by minor and extreme parties. We find some evidence that Christian democratic and liberal parties also benefited from the voting reform, but argue this finding is not causally related to the reform itself.


Turnout, Compulsory voting, Netherlands, Belgium, Quasi-experiment, Causal inference

Ce contenu a été mis à jour le 14 octobre 2016 à 23 h 04 min.