Public Choice

, Volume 164, Issue 3–4, pp 423–442 | Cite as

Citizens’ preferences about voting rules: self-interest, ideology, and sincerity

  • André Blais
  • Jean-François Laslier
  • François Poinas
  • Karine Van Der Straeten


This paper studies the determinants of citizens’ preferences for different electoral systems. We use data collected through a large internet-based quasi-experiment carried out during the 2012 French presidential election where we invited subjects to cast a vote for real candidates according to four voting rules: two-round (the official system), one-round, the alternative vote, and approval voting. After voting with each of the four voting rules, subjects were also asked to report which system they liked the most. We find that voters prefer systems that are beneficial to the candidate they prefer, that their preference for the official two-round system (weakly) depends on how they actually vote under this system, and that right-wing voters are more supportive of voting rules under which one can vote for only one candidate (one-round and two-round).


Electoral system Quasi-experiment Citizens’ preferences 



We thank the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for financial support, Damien Bol and Laura Stephenson for comments on previous drafts, and Henry Milner for careful editing.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • André Blais
    • 1
  • Jean-François Laslier
    • 2
  • François Poinas
    • 3
  • Karine Van Der Straeten
    • 3
  1. 1.Département de science politiqueUniversité de MontréalMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Paris School of Economics & CNRSParisFrance
  3. 3.Toulouse School of EconomicsInstitute for Advanced Study in Toulouse & CNRSToulouseFrance

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