Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12441
Title: Committed or Conditional Democrats? Opposition Dynamics in Electoral Autocracies
Authors: Gandhi, Jennifer
Ong, Elvin 
Keywords: Social Sciences
Political Science
Government & Law
COALITIONS
MALAYSIA
PARTY
ELECTIONS
POLICIES
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2019
Publisher: WILEY
Citation: Gandhi, Jennifer, Ong, Elvin (2019-10-01). Committed or Conditional Democrats? Opposition Dynamics in Electoral Autocracies. AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE 63 (4) : 948-963. ScholarBank@NUS Repository. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajps.12441
Abstract: In electoral autocracies, opposition coalition formation offers the best hope of getting to democracy. Yet forming electoral coalitions also entails convincing opposition voters to ignore compromises and engage in the cross-party voting necessary for opposition victory. To what extent are voters committed to defeating the autocratic incumbent even if it would result in dislikable outcomes? A survey experiment in Malaysia finds that opposition voters overwhelmingly express pretreatment support for the opposition coalition. But when exposed to a treatment vignette about which member party might lead the next government, many voters retract their support. Specifically, voters’ support for the coalition declines when their least preferred member is expected to control the government and when they can vote for a closer ideological alternative outside of the coalition. Although voters are committed to opposition unity and democratic transition, that commitment is sensitive to the anticipated consequences of an opposition victory.
Source Title: AMERICAN JOURNAL OF POLITICAL SCIENCE
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/193746
ISSN: 00925853
15405907
DOI: 10.1111/ajps.12441
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