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Black and white photo of Annika Fredén. Photo.

Annika Fredén

Associate Senior Lecturer

Black and white photo of Annika Fredén. Photo.

Strategic Voting under Coalition Governments


  • Annika Fredén

Summary, in English

If a voter defects from preference under the consideration of policy outcomes and others' behavior, it is a "strategic vote". This thesis relates voters' strategic considerations to the government formation process: the chances for a party to gain seats, enter office, and affect overall policies. This implies that voters sometimes think like parties on the governmental consequences of the vote. From these goals, four different types of strategic voting are discussed: voting for a party that is more likely to get elected (not to "waste one's vote"), more likely to lead the government formation process ("strategic sequencing"), at risk of falling below an electoral threshold ("insurance-voting"), or to affect the overall policies of a coalition ("compensational voting"). The focus is strategic voting for smaller parties, which has been given less attention in previous studies and is more likely to take place in proportional representation (PR), where the government is usually a coalition. The argument being made is that the potentially strategic voter does not always cast (the same type of) strategic vote. Information found in polls, for example, varies from election to election. Indications from the parties regarding with whom they intend to cooperate should also affect consideration about parties' post-electoral behavior. The ideas concerning strategic voting under coalition governments in practice are tested in four empirical studies. Using different methods, from large scale real life election studies over time to small scale laboratory experiments, the findings support the idea that different types of coalition-oriented strategic voting occurs and that these different types are based on the election-specific context.


  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year





Lund Political Studies



Document type



Lund University


  • Political Science


  • strategic
  • voting
  • coalitions
  • proportional representation




  • Hanna Bäck
  • Jan Teorell


  • ISSN: 0460-0037
  • ISBN: 978-91-7623-588-1
  • ISBN: 978-91-7623-587-4

Defence date

5 February 2016

Defence time


Defence place

Edens hörsal, Paradisgatan 5 H, Lund


  • Indridi Indridason (Associate Professor)