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Polarization, Partisan Preferences and Strategic Voting

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 December 2018

Jean-François Daoust*
Jean-François Daoust, Department of Political Science, McGill University, Montreal, Canada
Damien Bol
Damien Bol, Department of Political Economy, Kings’ College, London, UK
*Corresponding author. Email:


In this article, we study how polarization affects the propensity of supporters of non-viable parties to cast a strategic vote. To do so, we rely on Canadian election panel surveys from the Making Electoral Democracy Work project that were specifically designed to identify strategic voting. We find that the polarization between viable parties increases the probability of a supporter of a non-viable party casting a strategic vote, because it increases how much she likes her favourite viable party, and decreases how much she dislikes her least favourite viable party. Polarization thus increases strategic voting because it alters partisan preferences.

Copyright © The Authors 2018. Published by Government and Opposition Limited and Cambridge University Press

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