Document Type


Publication Date



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.


This is an Accepted Manuscript version of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, volume 32, issue 4, in 2022. It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Peer Reviewed



Taylor & Francis

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.