It is well established that those who supported the winning side in elections report greater specific democratic support – they are more satisfied with the functioning of their democracy – than those who supported the losing side. This literature, however, has focused almost exclusively on winning the presidency or premiership. This project extends that literature to incorporate the effect of district election victories and defeats on citizens’ democratic opinions using post-election surveys in three Westminster-style democracies: Australia, Canada, and Great Britain. It also includes two indicators of democratic institutional support: believing it matters for whom people vote and believing it matters who is in power. It finds that district-level results moderate the win-loss satisfaction gap induced by national election results. Winning in the constituency offsets the negative effect of electoral defeat; among national winners, however, the district result has limited impact on democratic attitudes. Constituency-level victories are less effective at mitigating the effect of national defeat on more diffuse democracy support.
Hannah M. Ridge (2022) Electoral outcomes and support for Westminster democracy, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 32:4, 887-906, https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2021.1946546
Taylor & Francis
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