AbstractsPolitical Science

Les systèmes électoraux et le vote stratégique; Electoral systems and strategical voting

by Erik Karlsson

Institution: Linnæus University
Year: 2016
Keywords: Political science; electoral systems; Maurice Duverger; the psychological factor; the strategic vote; Sweden; France; voter attitudes; the normative theory of electoral democracy.; Sciences politiques; systèmes électoraux; Maurice Duverger; le facteur psychologique; le vote stratégique; Suède; France; attitudes des électeurs; la théorie normative de démocratie électorale; Humanities; Humaniora; International Administration Programme with foreign language, 180 credits; Internationell administration med språk, 180 hp; Franska; French
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2064017
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-54493


The objective of this study is to investigate how the phenomenon called the strategic vote is manifested in the legislative elections in France and Sweden. In order to gain knowledge in this domain of study, recent studies and well-established theories within the political science have been observed. The theory of the psychological factor, composed by the French political scientist Maurice Duverger lays the basis of the theory of the strategic vote, which is the central theory for this thesis, mostly defined by Gary W. Cox in Making votes count: strategic coordination in the world’s electoral systems (1997). The main question of research is as follows: “How does the strategic vote manifest itself amongst the voters in the legislative elections of the proportional electoral Swedish system and the majority electoral French system?” The following questions are follow-up questions to complement the main one: “Which are the effects of the strategic vote?” “Which are the differences in the French and Swedish legislative elections that are revealed throughout the interviews?” and “Is the validity of votes under the influence of the phenomenon of the strategic vote questionable?” The method used to obtain answers to the questions above is qualitative interviews with two groups of respondents: one group of respondents of French nationality and another group with respondents of Swedish nationality. The results of the study show that strategic voting in France is mostly due to the two-ballot system that is applied in the French electoral system, where the second ballot is the source to most of the strategic voting in France. The Swedish voters, however, first and foremost vote strategically by reason of the electoral threshold of 4 % that is employed in the Swedish electoral system. The effects of the strategic voting in the concerning states, found in this study are identical: an overrepresentation of the bigger political parties and an underrepresentation of the smaller political parties. Differences in the legislative elections of the countries, France and Sweden, which were revealed during the interviews are differences in electoral participation due to the structure of elections on the various levels, such as municipal, regional and legislative and so forth. The third follow-up question, being of a more philosophical nature, lead to two positions: an idealist and a realist one. Through the results found in this study, the idealist position is the preferred position, in order to respect and achieve the democratic ideals on which the democratic states France and Sweden are based.