Open/Closed List and Party Choice: Experimental Evidence from the U.K.
44 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2014
Existing research comparing open-list and closed-list PR electoral systems has highlighted the way in which ballot type aects candidates' electoral strategies. We depart from this literature by emphasizing that ballot type may also affect the relative success of dierent kinds of parties. When voters have strong opinions about an issue on which major parties are internally divided, open-list ballots give voters an opportunity to express their preference on that issue without having to support a \niche" party. We provide experimental evidence of this phenomenon from the UK, where we show in hypothetical European Parliament elections that using an open-list ballot would shift support from UKIP (the Eurosceptic party) to Eurosceptic candidates of the Conservative Party.
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