Two is Company, Three is a Crowd: Party labels and number of candidates as determinants of 'incorrect' vote choice.

Keith O' BrienUniversity College London
Adam HarrisUniversity College London, London, United Kingdom

Abstract

Information-processing approaches to voter decision-making, and how ‘correct’ voters are, have been largely confined to the USA political system (Lau & Redlawsk, 1998; 2006). In a lab-based study based on the UK voting system, we tested the effects of increasing task complexity and one proposed heuristic, 'party label' on rates of voting in line with one's policy attitudes ('correct voting'). Increasing the number of candidates from two to three decreases correct voting rates. However, when participants had to choose between two candidates, rates of correct voting were higher when the party affiliation of the candidates was presented, with no effect when there were three candidates in the choice set. Implications of these results are discussed.

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Two is Company, Three is a Crowd: Party labels and number of candidates as determinants of 'incorrect' vote choice. (343 KB)



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