Article: article from journal or magazin.
Campaign effects in direct-democratic votes in Switzerland
Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
The purpose of this article is to analyse the conditions under which referendum campaigns have an impact on voting choices. Based on a model of opinion formation that integrates both campaign effects and partisan effects, we argue that campaign effects vary according to the context of the popular vote (size and type of conflict among the party elite and intensity and direction of the referendum campaign). We test our hypotheses with two-step estimations for hierarchical models on data covering 25 popular votes on foreign, European and immigration policy in Switzerland. Our results show strong campaign effects and they suggest that their strength and nature are indeed highly conditional on the context of the vote: the type of party coalition pre-structures the patterns of individual voting choices, campaign effects are higher when the campaign is highly intense and they are more symmetric when it is balanced.
direct democracy, voting behaviour, campaign effects, hierarchical models, Switzerland
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