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Strategic Voting in Britain

Bruce E. Cain
American Journal of Political Science
Vol. 22, No. 3 (Aug., 1978), pp. 639-655
DOI: 10.2307/2110465
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2110465
Page Count: 17
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Strategic Voting in Britain
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Abstract

Formal political theory has raised serious doubts about the existence of strategic voting, and this in turn has challenged the prevailing wisdom in comparative politics about phenomena like "squeezing" and the effect of the "wasted vote." This paper attempts to set out the conditions for strategic voting and to test for it using data from the 1970 British General election. The results from both an aggregate and a survey analysis indicate that individuals are more likely to vote for their second preference when they perceive that their first choice has little chance of winning. This effect is particularly strong when the next best party is at a margin of under five percent.

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