French Politics

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 27–42 | Cite as

Strategic voting in the second round of a two-round system: The 2014 French municipal elections

  • Bernard Dolez
  • Annie Laurent
  • André Blais
Original Article


We examine strategic voting in the second round of the 2014 French municipal elections. We focus on the 96 cities where the number of lists remained constant (three, four, or five) in the two rounds, and we examine the evolution of the vote for these 329 lists from the first to the second round. We show that support for the top two lists (in the first round) systematically increases in the second round at the expense of the other lists. The second list makes as much progress as the first list, ruling out a bandwagon effect. Strategic desertion of the non-viable lists is more pronounced when the distance from the second list is high, and there is close competition between the top two lists. This suggests that voters in these cities behave in a second round of a two-round election as they do under FPTP, provided that there are many candidates/parties and that the second round is held under plurality.


strategic voting two-round voting system French elections municipal elections 



We thank the reviewers of this article for their constructive suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université de Paris1ParisFrance
  2. 2.CERAPSUniversité de LilleLilleFrance
  3. 3.Université de MontréalMontrealCanada

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