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Insurance strategic considerations in coalition-oriented systems: A consideration set model approach

Journal article
Authors Annika Fredén
Jacob Sohlberg
Published in Electoral Studies
Volume 57
Pages 302-308
ISSN 0261-3794
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Political Science
Pages 302-308
Language en
Keywords strategic, consideration set, coalitions, insurance, small parties
Subject categories Political Science


During a vote-decision process, citizens elect between some of the parties – not all of them. In this paper, we explore a potential strategic reason to include an additional alternative in the consideration set. Drawing on research from the field of strategic voting, we study incentives to defect to a party at risk of falling below an electoral threshold in order to elect a winning coalition (”insurance”). Our argument is that these types of strategic considerations occur already in the campaign, but do not always translate into choice. Using the so-called consideration set model approach (CSM), which focuses on how voters select fewer alternatives among a larger number of parties, we model vote choice over an election campaign using panel data from the Swedish National Election Studies of 2014. In line with our argument, we demonstrate that the insurance strategy was prevalent earlier in the decision-making process, when forming the consideration set.

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