Article scientifique
Publication scientifique

2023 | Are people more satisfied with democracy when they feel they won the election? No., Political Studies Review, vol. 21, no 1, pp. 162-171.

Article scientifique

Citizens who voted for a party ending up in government are more satisfied with democracy than those who supported a party that ends up in the opposition. The assumption is that voting for a party that is included in the government produces a perception of having won the election, which increases one’s level of satisfaction with democracy. This (assumed) mediation has never been directly tested. In this research note, authors provide the first empirical test of this mediation using data from the Making Electoral Democracy Work project, which includes a question tapping whether the respondent perceives the party she voted for won or lost the election. They do not find support for the mediation hypothesis. They conclude that the meaning of the higher (lower) satisfaction observed among those who voted for a party included in the government (or in the opposition) remains ambiguous. This research has important implications for the conceptualization of what it means to win or lose an election.

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