Government formation in multiparty systems requires election winners to compromise to form a coalition government. Do voters respond and how do they respond to coalition government compromises? This paper examines the short-term consequences of coalition agreements on voters in European democracies relying on survey panel data and original content analysis of coalition agreements. It tests theoretical expectations that deal with what makes voters less likely to be satisfied with government agreements, focusing on variation across coalition agreements and across voters. The results indicate that coalition agreements have significant consequences on voters, but more so for the junior coalition partner and even more so for party identifiers. These findings have important implications for our understanding of public opinion and provide important insights into the current difficulties and challenges of government formation and representative democracy.
Wednesday, November 18, 2020, 1:30 pm – 3:10 pm