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Targeting the government in the referendum: the aborted 2016 Italian constitutional reform

  • Danilo Di Mauro (a1) and Vincenzo Memoli (a2)


This study investigates the factors explaining voting in the 2016 Italian referendum on constitutional reform. As we show through voting alignments within the Parliament and key aspects of the electoral campaign, this was a case where the government took the leadership of the entire referendum process, transforming it into a plebiscite. Within this context, we hypothesize that key elements explaining voting choices follow a government-support vs. opposition dynamics. Employing Italian National Elections Studies Association pre/post-referendum survey, we estimate the effects of factors increasing predictability (e.g. party closeness, ideology, social cleavage) or uncertainty (e.g. government performance, the economy) of voting choices. The resulting logistic regression models show that the leading role of the government in the referendum reshapes the impact of factors explaining voting choices. While some lose significance, others follow a pro- or anti-government logic.


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Targeting the government in the referendum: the aborted 2016 Italian constitutional reform

  • Danilo Di Mauro (a1) and Vincenzo Memoli (a2)


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