Acta Politica

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 328–345 | Cite as

Winning is not everything: Public perceptions of losers and non-voters in South Africa

  • Timothy S Rich
  • Carolyn E Holmes
Original Article


Which factor – being an electoral loser or being a non-voter – has a greater negative influence on perceptions of democratic institutions in South Africa? Employing four waves of Afrobarometer data, this analysis finds that both negatively correlate with evaluations of democracy and parliament in particular, with weaker results after controlling for demographic and geographic factors. However, little consistency emerges as to which has the greater negative influence on perceptions. Furthermore, disaggregating non-voters finds that those preferring parties that lost have the lowest evaluations overall.


losers’ consent non-voters South Africa democratic satisfaction 


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Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy S Rich
    • 1
  • Carolyn E Holmes
    • 2
  1. 1.Political Science, Western Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceBucknell UniversityLewisburgUSA

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