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Published March 2006 | public
Journal Article

Strategic voting in British elections


In this paper we examine the extent to which voters engage in strategic behavior. Our contribution is accounting for the context in which voters have the opportunity to behave in a strategic fashion. We also demonstrate that previous measures of strategic voting significantly underestimated the willingness of voters to engage in strategic behavior when presented with the opportunity to do so. We use as cases for our study of strategic voting behavior two recent elections in Britain, the 1987 and 1997 general elections. Our analysis produces estimates of strategic voting in these elections that are substantially greater than reported in previous research.

Additional Information

© 2005 Elsevier. Available online 26 April 2005. We thank Geoff Evans, David Myatt, and Harold Clarke for their comments about a previous version of this research that was presented at the 1999 Midwest Political Science Association Meeting. Comments received from Eric Lawrence and Doug Rivers at the 2000 Western Political Science Association Meeting were also extremely helpful. Alvarez thanks the National Science Foundation (SBR-9709327) and the IBM Corporation for their support of his research. Nagler thanks the National Science Foundation for support of his research under SBR-9413939, SBR-9709214, and SES-0078882. We thank Jonathan Katz for providing us with some of the data used in this analysis, and Betsy Sinclair for helpful discussions.

Additional details

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