Why do voters support different parties at elections when given the opportunity of casting two votes to elect the same representative body?
This book relaxes common assumptions in the voting behaviour literature to provide an in-depth study of split-ticket voting across ten established and non-established democracies. It proposes an original framework and combines a theoretical investigation with a purely methodological analysis to test the reliability of the predictive models.
The broader picture that emerges is the one of a ‘simple’ voter with ‘sophisticated’ preferences. Parties still function as the principal cue for voting, but voters appear sophisticated in that they often like more than one party or choose candidates regardless of their party affiliation.
Despite mixed-member systems being one of the most complicated electoral systems of all, there is no evidence supporting the conclusion that voters are not able to cope with the complexity of the electoral rules.
'This book provides the reader with an innovative cross-country study of vote choice under mixed systems using both individual and aggregate-level data. Ecological inference models of multi-party election outcomes at the electoral district level inform us about the conditions under which split-ticket voting is more or less common. While some might consider mixed system to be rather complicated for voters, the author finds clear individual-level evidence that citizens can cope with those rules and consider the impact of their vote on policy. Thus, scholars of party competition as well as students of voting behaviour want to add this book to their reading list.'
Thomas Gschwend, University of Mannheim
'This is a most impressive study. We learn (almost) everything we need to know about split-ticket voting in mixed-member systems. Plescia demonstrates that ticket-splitting should be distinguished from strategic voting. While some ticket-splitting is affected by strategic considerations, much of it is the consequence of voters having different party and candidate preferences or being forced to do so because their party does not have a candidate in their constituency. The analysis is clear, rigorous, systematic and compelling. Many voters in the world have two votes to cast in elections, and Plescia makes a splendid contribution to understanding why they often decide to cast two different votes.'
André Blais, Université de Montréal