Louis P., Troumpounis O., Tsakas N., Xefteris D. (2020).

Protest voting in the laboratory. Working Paper Lancaster University, Department of Economics.

Abstract:

Formal analysis predicts that the likelihood of an electoral accident depends on the preference intensity for a successful protest, but not on the protest’s popularity: an increase in protest’s popularity is fully offset by a reduction in the individual probability of casting a protest vote. By conducting the first laboratory experiment on protest voting, we find strong evidence in favor of the first prediction and qual- ified support for the latter. While the offset effect is present, it is not as strong as the theory predicts: protest candidates gain both by fanaticising existing protesters and by expanding the protest’s popular base.