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Coalition-directed Voting in Multiparty Democracies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 December 2010

University of Oxford
University of Houston
University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Raymond M. Duch is Professorial Fellow, Nuffield College, and University Professor, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK0X1 1NF (
Jeff May is a graduate student in the Department of Political Science, University of Houston, 4800 Calhoun Road, Houston, Texas 77204 (
David A. Armstrong II is Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, P.O. Box 413, Milwaukee, WI 53201-0413 (


Ideology is widely considered to be an important factor in shaping policy outcomes and in influencing election outcomes. We propose a theory of the coalition-directed vote. The argument suggests that voters anticipate the postelection bargains negotiated among potential members of the governing coalition and that these anticipated policy agreements inform their vote choice. Our analysis, based on 86 voter preference surveys from 23 countries and over a 25-year period, confirms that coalition-directed voting occurs with considerable frequency in contexts with multiparty coalition governments.

Research Article
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2010

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