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Preference votes without preference? Institutional effects on preference voting: an experiment

Political scientists Marijn Nagtzaam (Leiden University) and Patrick van Erkel (University of Antwerp) investigate how electoral rules affect intra party preference voting. Focusing on the effect of two specific rules—the option to cast a list vote and on a single versus multiple preference vote—and conducting experiments in Belgium and the Netherlands they find that electoral rules indeed influence voting behaviour with regard to intra party preference voting. Moreover, Nagtzaam and Van Erkel find that the option to cast a list vote equally affects votes for the first candidate on the list, as well as lower positioned candidates. This suggests that preference votes might be less preferential than has often been assumed.

Marijn Nagtzaam & Patrick van Erkel
24 October 2016
Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties