The Effects of District Magnitude on Voting Behaviour
Is there more sincere voting in multi-member districts than in single-member districts?
Existing research on this question is inconclusive, at least in part because it is
difficult with observational data to isolate the effect of district magnitude on voting
behavior independently from voters' preferences or number of parties. Hence, we investigate
this issue in a laboratory experiment, where we vary district magnitude while keeping the
distribution of voters' preferences and the number of parties constant. We find that voting
for the preferred party (sincere voting) increases with district magnitude. This is
consistent with existing findings from observational data. We also discover a surprising
result: a high incidence of 'frontrunner' voting, which cannot be easily explained by existing research.