Research conducted within the project’s framework has already led to the publications of various outputs. Below, you will find the exhaustive list of these publications.


André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Karine Van der Straeten (eds.). 2016. Voting experiments. Springer.

William P. Cross, Jonathan Malloy, Tamara A. Small, and Laura B. Stephenson. 2015. Fighting for votes, parties, the media, and voters in an Ontario election. UBC Press.

Marc Guinjoan. 2014. Parties, elections and electoral contests: Competition and contamination effects. Ashgate.

Frédérick Bastien, Éric Bélanger, and François Gélineau (eds.). 2013. Les Québécois aux urnes : les partis, les médias et les citoyens en campagne. Presses de l’Université de Montréal.

Marc Guinjoan, Toni Rodon, and Marc Sanjaume. 2013. Catalunya, un pas endavant. Angle Editorial


Ignacio Lago, Sandra Bermúdez, Marc Guinjoan, Kelly Rowe & Pablo Simón, “Party Mobilization and Electoral Systems“, Government and Opposition.

Ignacio Lago, Sandra Bermúdez, Marc Guinjoan & Pablo Simón, “Turnout and Fractionalisation”, forthcoming in Politics.

Scott Pruysers and William Cross, “Negative” Personalization: Party Leaders and Party Strategy“, Canadian Journal of Political Science.

Annie Laurent, Bernard Dolez, and André Blais. Forthcoming. “Strategic voting in the second round of a two-round system.” French Politics.

Damien Bol, André Blais and Simon Labbé St-Vincent. Forthcoming. “Which matters most : Party strategic exit or voter strategic voting? A laboratory experiment.” Political Science Research and Methods.

André Blais and Anja Kilibarda. Forthcoming. “Correct Voting and Post-Election Regret.” PS : Political Science & Politics.

Carol Galais and André Blais. Forthcoming. “The Duty to Vote and Political Support in Asia.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research.

Damien Bol, Philipp Harfst, André Blais, Sona Golder, Jean-François Laslier, Laura Stephenson, and Karine van der Straeten. “Addressing Europe’s Democratic Deficit: An Experimental Evaluation of the Pan-European District Proposal.” European Union Politics.

André Blais, Elisabeth Gidengil, and Anja Kilibarda. Partisanship, information and perceptions of government corruption. International Journal of Public Opinion Research.

André Blais, Eric Guntermann, and Marc André Bodet. Forthcoming. “Linking Party Preference and the Composition of Government : A New Standard for Evaluating the Performance of Electoral Democracy.” Political Science Research and Methods.

André Blais and Carol Galais. Forthcoming. “Measuring the Civic Duty to Vote : A Proposal.” Electoral Studies.

André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, François Pointas, and Karine Van der Straeten. Forthcoming. Citizens’ preferences about voting rules: self-interest, ideology, and sincerity. Public Choice.
[blog post]

  • Abstract: This paper studies the determinants of citizens’ preferences for different electoral systems. We use data collected through a large internet-based quasi-experiment carried out during the 2012 French presidential election where we invited subjects to cast a vote for real candidates according to four voting rules: two-round (the official system), one-round, the alternative vote, and approval voting. After voting with each of the four voting rules, subjects were also asked to report which system they liked the most. We find that voters prefer systems that are beneficial to the candidate they prefer, that their preference for the official two-round system (weakly) depends on how they actually vote under this system, and that right-wing voters are more supportive of voting rules under which one can vote for only one candidate (one-round and two-round).

André Blais, Alexandre Morin-Chassé, and Shane P. Singh. Forthcoming. Election outcomes, legislative representation, and satisfaction with democracy. Party Politics.
[blog post]

  • Abstract:This paper disentangles the relationship between election outcomes and satisfaction with democracy. As the first comparative study to employ a measure of satisfaction immediately before and after elections, we can be unusually confident that any changes we observe are attributable to election outcomes. Following previous work, we affirm that voting for parties that win more votes, more legislative seats, and more cabinet seats boosts satisfaction with democracy. In addition, we demonstrate, for the first time, that voters are sensitive to deficits in representation; satisfaction with democracy decreases when one’s party’s seat share falls short of its vote share.

André Blais, Jean-Benoit Pilet, Simon Labbé-St-Vincent, and Rafael Treibich. Forthcoming. Voting correctly in lab elections with monetary incentives: The impact of district magnitude. Party Politics.
[blog post]

  • Abstract:Whether people make the right choice when they vote for a given candidate or party and what factors affect the capacity to vote correctly have been recurrent questions in the political science literature. This paper contributes to this debate by looking at how the complexity of the electoral context affects voters’ capacity to vote correctly. Correct voting is defined as a vote that maximizes one’s payoffs in lab elections with monetary incentives. We examine two aspects of the electoral context: district magnitude and the distribution of preferences within the electorate. The main finding is that the frequency of correct voting is much higher in single-member than in multi-member district elections. As soon as there is more than one single seat to be allocated, voters have more difficulty figuring out whether they should vote sincerely for their preferred party or opt strategically for another party in order to maximize their payoffs. By contrast, the distribution of preferences within the electorate has no significant effect.

Marc Guinjoan and Toni Rodon. Forthcoming. A scrutiny of the Linz-Moreno question. Publius.

  • Abstract:
    In this research note we delve into the Linz-Moreno question—one of the most employed measures of national and regional identity in political science—by analyzing three different assumptions that the indicator relies upon: First, we test whether this instrument captures a negative linear trend between identities. Second, we examine whether the Linz-Moreno question also captures identity intensity. Third, we focus on the middle-identity category and examine whether it encapsulates people’s dual sense of belonging where there are two different national identities. Using data from the Making Electoral Democracy Work Project for the Spanish/Catalan case, we show that the Linz-Moreno question meets the assumptions of linearity, intensity, and the meaning of the role of the central category when capturing Catalan identity feelings. However, it fails to capture Spanish identity intensity and preferences, which over-represents the dual-identity middle category. Our empirical findings have crucial consequences for researchers working in the field of national/regional identities.

Simon Labbé-St-Vincent and André Blais. Forthcoming. Le vote à l’élection d’à côté. Politique et Sociétés.

Simon Labbé St-Vincent, André Blais, and Jean-Benoît Pilet. Forthcoming. The electoral sweet spot in the lab. Journal of Experimental Political Science.

  • Abstract: Carey and Hix (2011, American Journal of Political Science 55(2): 383–97) propose that a proportional electoral system with a moderate number of seats per district offers the best compromise between (1) accurate representation and (2) strong accountability. The argument is that there is a district magnitude (DM) level where the trade-off between proportionality and fragmentation of parties is optimal. This DM is called the sweet spot. We explore this proposition through lab experiments conducted in Brussels and Montreal. We find that the probability of achieving a “good” outcome on both proportionality and the number of parties is slightly higher at moderate DMs. We note, however, that this probability remains low.

Ignacio Lago, Marc Guinjoan, and Sandra Bermúdez. Regulating disinformation: Poll embargo and electoral coordination. Public Opinion Quarterly. Forthcoming.

  • Abstract: This paper examines the political consequences of pre-Election Day poll restriction. Our argument is that laws outlawing the publication of polling results hamper electoral coordination the more complex the information environment is. We rely on aggregated data from the most recent Lower House elections in 46 democracies to show that the amount of wasted votes increases in countries with highly fragmented party systems when pre-Election Day polls are restricted. This evidence is supported with individual data from Internet panel surveys conducted by the Electoral Democracy Work Project during election campaigns in Canada and Spain.

Jean-Francois Laslier, André Blais, Damien Bol, Sona N. Golder, Philipp Harfst, Laura Stephenson, and Karine Van der Straeten. Forthcoming. The EuroVotePlus experiment. European Union Politics.

  • Abstract:This paper reports on an on-line experiment that took place in several European countries during the three weeks before the 2014 elections for the European Parliament. We created a website where visitors could obtain information about the electoral rules used in different European Member States for this election. Participants were then invited to cast (simulated) ballots for the election according to three voting rules: closed list proportional representation (PR), open list PR with preferential voting, and open list PR with cumulative voting and panachage. Participants were also invited to think about, and experiment with, the idea of electing some members of the European Parliament through pan-European party lists. The data gathered from this study enable researchers to consider the effects of electoral systems on outcomes in individual countries, and also to investigate the potential popularity and effects of Europewide European Parliament constituencies.

Katherine V.R. Sullivan and Pierre C. Bélanger, “La cyberdémocratie québécoise: Twitter bashing, #VoteCampus et selfies“, Politique et Sociétés, no. 2-3 (August 2016). DOI:10.7202/1037017ar

Lukas Rudolph and Thomas Däubler, “Holding Individual Representatives Accountable: The Role of Electoral Systems,” The Journal of Politics 78, no. 3 (July 2016). DOI: 10.1086/685378

André Blais. 2016. « Is Duverger’s Law Valid? » French Politics 14 : 126-130.

Carol Galais and André Blais. 2016. « Do People Feel More of a Duty to Vote in Some Elections? » West European Politics 39 : 755-777.

Jean-François Daoust. 2015. Vote stratégique au Québec: Analyse de l’élection de 2012. Politique et sociétés 34: 3-15.
[blog post]

  • Abstract: Despite the fact that strategic voting is a widely used concept in Quebec provincial politics, no research on that topic has been conducted focusing on a Quebec election. To fill this gap in the literature, this article uses a survey of the Making Electoral Democracy Work project designed for the Quebec 2012 election and has two main objectives. Firstly, this research examines the extent to which voters engage in strategic behaviour and analyses secondly the individual factors that influence the proclivity to cast a strategic vote. Results show that overall, 8,4% of the voters can be said to have voted strategically. As expected, to be partisan and to have a greater preferences’ gap between the two preferred options reduces importantly the probability to cast a strategic vote. However and contrary to expectation, the odds of a strategic coordination is not influenced by the level of political sophistication of the voter.

Romain Lachat, André Blais and Ignacio Lago. 2015. Assessing the mechanical and psychological effects of district magnitude. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion & Parties, 25: 284-299.
[blog post]

  • Abstract: District magnitude is a central aspect of the institutional context in PR elections and it influences parties’ and voters’ strategies. The incentives for strategic behaviour are stronger in smaller districts, as only large parties are likely to be viable. This article investigates how much the vote is affected by this characteristic of the electoral context, focusing on the 2005 and 2009 Portuguese elections. Portugal is one of the countries with the largest degree of variation in district magnitude and represents thus an ideal case for analysing district magnitude effects. Relying on data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, this study shows a strong mechanical effect of district magnitude and a limited psychological effect.

Romain Lachat and Hanspeter Kriesi. 2015. “Voluntary PR voting” in the election of Swiss regional governments. Swiss Political Science Review, 21: 419-436.

  • Abstract: This paper analyses citizens’ voting behaviour in the April 2011 elections of the regional governments in the cantons of Zurich and Lucerne. These elections were conducted with a majoritarian electoral system in a multi-member district. In both cantons, the number of candidates in competition is relatively limited due to “voluntary PR”, that is, a coordination effort among parties that aims to achieve a proportional distribution of government seats. If citizens cast all of their votes, they must support candidates from various ideological camps. Alternatively, they can limit the number of votes used to cast a more concentrated vote. This paper examines what factors lead citizens to cast an ideologically concentrated or dispersed vote. The results show that the degree of ideological concentration of citizens’ votes is related to partisan preferences, strategic considerations, political knowledge, and the level of satisfaction with the government performance.

Mike Medeiros, Jean-Philippe Gauvin, Chris Chhim. 2015. Refining vote choice in an ethno-regionalist context: three-dimensional ideological voting in Catalonia and Quebec. Electoral Studies, 40: 14-22.
[blog post]

  • Abstract: Politics in regions or countries with a salient ethno-regionalist cleavage take on a unique dynamic. In addition to ideological positioning on economic and social stances, centre-periphery issues add a third ideological dimension that needs to be acknowledged. Yet, electoral research has rarely given appropriate attention to these three ideological dimensions independently. This paper takes up this challenge by presenting a three-dimensional ideological model of vote choice. The three dimensions are each theoretically portrayed as having a determining and independent influence on voting. Using survey data from the Making Electoral Democracy Work project, we explore determinants of vote choice in recent sub-national elections in Catalonia and Quebec. The results show that all three ideological dimensions are significant determinants of vote choice in both regions.

Lukas Stötzer, Steffen Zittlau, Thomas Gschwend & Tobias Witt. 2015. Leihstimmen in Bundestagswahljahr 2013. Politische Psychologie, 1: 88-107.

  • Abstract:Dieser Beitrag überprüft anhand einer statistischen Auswertung die Bedeutung von Leihstimmenverhalten im Bundestagswahljahr 2013. Während Leihstimmen der FDP einen unerwartet hohen Stimmanteil bei der Landtagswahl in Niedersachsen bescherten, verfehlte die FDP bei der Landtagswahl in Bayern und auch bei der Bundestagswahl den Einzug ins Parlament. Der Leihstimmenlogik zufolge sollten Unionsanhänger mit starken Präferenzen für eine schwarz-gelbe Koalition Anreize gehabt haben, die FDP mit ihrer Zweitstimme zu unterstützen, wenn sie deren Einzugschancen als unsicher bewerteten. Unsere Ergebnisse deuten darauf hin, dass die Erklärungskraft dieses Ansatzes kontextabhängig ist. Dies unterstreicht die Bedeutung von Faktoren auf der Parteien- und Wahlebene für strategisches Wahlhandeln.

André Blais, Jean-Benoit Pilet, Karine Van der Straeten, Jean-François Laslier, and Maxime Héroux-Legault. 2014. To Vote or to abstain? An experimental test of rational calculus in first past the post and PR elections. Electoral Studies, 36: 39-50.
[blog post]

  • Abstract: We test the rational choice model of turnout in the lab. We performed laboratory experiments in which participants had to decide whether to vote or not in a number of first past the post and proportional representation elections. We test the predictions of rational choice theory from three different angles: (i) First, we compare aggregate turnout with the Nash equilibrium predictions; (ii) Second, we compare individual decisions with those derived from a rational calculus and count the number of decisions which are consistent with the rational recommendation; and (iii) Third, we determine, still at the individual level, whether, at the margin, people are more likely to vote as the expected payoff increases. The overwhelming thrust of the evidence is inconsistent with the rational calculus paradigm.

André Blais. 2014. Why is turnout so low in Switzerland? Comparing the attitudes of Swiss and German citizens towards electoral democracy. Swiss Political Science Review, 20: 520-528.

Laurie Beaudonnet, André Blais, Damien Bol, and Martial Foucault. 2014. Satisfaction with democracy in a two round system. French Politics, 12: 22-35.

  • Abstract:Previous research has found a positive relationship between having voted for a party that is part of the government and satisfaction with democracy. However, no research has examined this relationship in the specific case of a two-round system. Relying on original panel data survey conducted before and after the 2012 legislative election in France, this article addresses the question of how vote choices in the first and second rounds affect satisfaction with democracy. We find that both rounds have a similar impact and that voters who rallied a winning party in the second round are as happy with the democratic process as early supporters.

Marc Guinjoan, Pablo Simón, Sandra Bermúdez, and Ignacio Lago. 2014. Expectations in mass elections: Back to the future? Social Science Quarterly, 95: 1346–1359.
[blog post]

  • Abstract: Objectives This article examines whether voters look to the past or the future when forming their perceptions of the parties’ chances of winning. Methods. We use OLS regression models to analyze panel survey data from the districts where the incumbent was defeated in the 2011 provincial election in Ontario (Canada). Results. We find that voters’ expectations in the districts are mainly affected by the results of the upcoming election and not by the outcome of the previous election. We also find that expectations are influenced by the phenomenon of wishful thinking. Conclusions. This study sheds light on how voters form their perceptions of the parties’ chances of winning.

Karine Van der Straeten, Jean-François Laslier, and André Blais. 2013. Vote au pluriel: How people vote when offered to vote under different rules. PS: Political Science & Politics, 46: 324-328.

  • Abstract:This article reports on an Internet-based quasi-experiment that took place during the French 2012 presidential election. We designed a website where French voters could vote under different voting rules. Based on the observation of more than 8,000 participants, we find that a substantial minority (10% to 15%) vote differently under the different systems, with 17% of the voters not voting for their preferred candidate in the one-round election, this percentage dropped to 12% in the alternative vote (first choice). Compared to the two-rounds election, at the aggregate level, the top two candidates get slightly more votes under one round, while the minor candidates obtain more first choices under the alternative vote. These findings are consistent with what the literature suggests about the impact of these voting systems on voters’ choice.

Karine Van der Straeten, Nicolas Sauger, Jean-François Laslier, and André Blais. 2013. Sorting out mechanical and psychological effects in candidate elections: An appraisal with experimental data. British Journal of Political Science, 43: 937-944.

  • Abstract: The paper proposes a way to measure mechanical and psychological effects of majority runoff versus plurality electoral systems in candidate elections. Building on a series of laboratory experiments, we evaluate these effects with respect to the probability of electing a Condorcet winner candidate. In our experiment, the runoff system very slightly favours the Condorcet winner candidate, but this total effect is small. We show that this is the case because the mechanical and psychological effects tend to cancel each other out. Compared to plurality, the mechanical effect of runoffs is to systematically advantage the Condorcet winner candidate, as usually assumed; but our study detects an opposite psychological effect, to the disadvantage of this candidate.

Shane Singh, Ekrem Karakoç, and André Blais. 2012. Differentiating winners, how elections affect satisfaction with democracy. Electoral Studies, 31: 201-211.
[blog post]

  • Abstract: Previous research indicates that supporting a winning party in an election boosts satisfaction with democracy, but does not fully or adequately test the mechanisms behind this relationship. Using original survey data, we make a contribution on three fronts. First, we inquire what winning (or losing) an election really means in terms of the performance of one’s preferred party. Second, we employ panel data, which helps to determine whether an election outcome truly impacts satisfaction levels. Third, we examine the breadth of electoral victory, testing whether the satisfaction boost from a regional victory extends to the national and supranational levels. Findings indicate that the inclusion of one’s selected party in government is the most important factor for satisfaction with democracy, which attests to the importance of policy considerations in engendering satisfaction. In addition, winning a regional election strengthens satisfaction beyond the regional level, which indicates that the mere experience of being a “winner” also works to increase satisfaction.

André Blais, Maxime Héroux-Legault, Laura Stephenson, William Cross, and Elisabeth Gidengil. 2012. Assessing the psychological and mechanical impact of electoral rules: A quasi-experiment. Electoral Studies, 31: 829-837.
[blog post]

  • Abstract: The paper assesses the influence of electoral rules on vote choice and election outcomes using a quasi-experiment conducted during a recent Canadian provincial election. Respondents were invited to vote under three voting systems (first past the post, alternative voting and proportional representation) and to answer a short questionnaire. We examine how the distribution of votes and seats is affected, and we ascertain how much of the total difference is due to psychological and mechanical effects. We find that a PR system would have increased legislative fractionalization by the equivalent of one effective party and that the mechanical effect is much more important than the psychological effect. As for AV, its mechanical and psychological effects act in opposite directions.

André Blais, Simon Labbé St-Vincent, Jean-François Laslier, Nicolas Sauger, and Karine van der Straeten. 2011. Strategic vote choice in one round and two round elections: An experimental study. Political Research Quarterly, 21: 637-646.
[blog post]

  • Abstract: The authors test a model of strategic vote choice in which the decision to support or not to support a candidate depends on the benefit associated with the election of a given candidate and the candidate’s perceived viability. They test the model with data collected in a series of experiments in which the participants voted in eight successive elections, four in one round and four in two rounds. Results show that the same model applies to both voting systems, although the impact of perceived viability is slightly weaker in two-round elections. The authors conclude that strategic considerations are almost as important in two-round as in one-round elections.

André Blais. 2010. Making electoral democracy work. Electoral Studies, 29: 169-170.

  • Abstract: This note presents a new electoral studies research program that will examine party and voter behaviour in 27 elections (national, supra-national, and sub-national) in five countries (Canada, France, Germany, Spain, and Switzerland) and that includes a series of experiments designed to complement the analyses of these 27 elections. The purpose is to ascertain how the rules of the game, especially the electoral system, and the competitiveness and salience of elections influence the reciprocal relationship between voters and parties.

Karine Van der Straeten, Jean-François Laslier, Nicolas Sauger, and André Blais.  2010. Strategic, sincere, and heuristic voting under four election rules. Social Choice and Welfare, 35: 435-472.

  • Abstract: We report on laboratory experiments on voting. In a setting where subjects have single-peaked preferences we find that the rational choice theory provides very good predictions of actual individual behavior in one-round and approval voting elections, but fares poorly in explaining vote choice under two-round elections. We conclude that voters behave strategically as far as strategic computations are not too demanding, in which case they rely on simple heuristics (in two-round elections) or they just vote sincerely (in single transferable vote elections).

Book chapters

André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Karine Van der Straeten. Forthcoming. Introduction. In Voting experiments, André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Karine Van der Straeten (eds.). Springer.

Damien Bol, André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Antonin Macé. Forthcoming. Electoral system and number of candidates: Candidate entry under plurality and majority runoff. In Voting experiments, André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Karine Van der Straeten (eds.). Springer.

Damien Bol and Marian Bohl. Forthcoming. Negative campaigning in proportional representation —yet non-coalition— systems: Evidence from Switzerland. In New perspectives on negative campaigning: Measures, causes and effects. Alessandro Nai and Annemarie Walter (eds.). ECPR Press.

Damien Bol, Simon Labbé St-Vincent. Forthcoming. Recruiting for laboratory voting experiments: Exploring the (potential) sampling bias. In Voting experiments, André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Karine Van der Straeten (eds.). Springer.

Aina Gallego, Carol Galais, Marc Guinjoan, Jean-Michel Lavoie, and André Blais. Forthcoming. Visibility and sanctions: The social norm of voting in the lab. In Voting experiments, André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Karine Van der Straeten (eds.). Springer.

François Gélineau and André Blais. Forthcoming. Comparing measures of campaign negativity : Expert judgments versus content analysis. In New perspectives on negative campaigning: Measures, causes and effects, Alessandro Nai and Annemarie Walter (eds.). ECPR Press.

Simon Labbé St-Vincent, André Blais, Martial Foucault, Jean-François Laslier, and Nicolas Sauger. Forthcoming. Measuring perceptions of candidate viability in voting experiments. In Voting experiments, André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Karine Van der Straeten (eds.). Springer.

Karine Van der Straeten, Jean-François Laslier, and André Blais. Forthcoming. Patterns of strategic voting in runoff elections. In Voting experiments, André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Karine Van der Straeten (eds.). Springer.

André Blais, Carol Galais, and François Gélineau. 2013. La participation électorale. In Les Québécois aux urnes : les partis, les médias et les citoyens en campagne, Frédérick Bastien, Éric Bélanger, and François Gélineau (eds.). Presses de l’Université de Montréal.

Elisabeth Gidengil and Allison Harell. 2013 L’appui des Québécoises aux partis politiques provinciaux. In Les Québécois aux urnes : les partis, les médias et les citoyens en campagne, Frédérick Bastien, Éric Bélanger, and François Gélineau (eds.). Presses de l’Université de Montréal.

Nicolas Sauger, André Blais, Jean-François Laslier, and Karine van der Straeten. 2012. Strategic voting in the laboratory. In Experimental political science: Principles and practices, Bernhard Kittel, Wolfgang J. Luhan, and Rebecca B. Morton (eds.). Palgrave Macmillan.