Over the past decades, diasporas’ engagement in homeland elections has become a highly salient issue, especially given the widespread implementation of enfranchisement policies for citizens living abroad. Spain stands out in the European context with its long emigration history, its sizeable population abroad, and the enactment of the so-called ‛voto rogado’ (‛begged vote’) system that hindered external voting by requiring non-resident citizens to submit a separate voter registration application to become eligible for casting the ballot in Spanish elections. Yet, little is known so far about the voting patterns of Spaniards abroad. This article aims to fill this gap by examining the electoral (non)alignment between resident and non-resident voters in the Spanish general elections held over the past three decades. We argue that a comprehensive assessment of electoral (non)alignment must consider two different analytical layers of turnout and party choice. The article shows that changing electoral rules on extraterritorial voting, the increasingly diverse profile of Spaniards abroad, and Spanish parties’ strategies towards the diaspora interact to account for differences in overseas Spaniards’ turnout rates and party choices when compared to resident voters.
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We would like to thank the Spanish National Institute for Statistics and the General Directorate of Spaniards Abroad and Consular Affairs of the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation for the clarifications provided during the process of data collection. We are also indebted to Sebastián Umpierrez de Reguero, Johanna Peltoniemi, Sorina Soare, and Djordje Sredanovic for their insightful comments on previous versions of this article.
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The original online version of this article was revised: The author Marta Paradés Martín is affiliated erroneously. This has been corrected.
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Vintila, D., Pamies, C. & Paradés, M. Electoral (non)alignment between resident and non-resident voters: evidence from Spain. Eur Polit Sci 22, 63–82 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41304-022-00411-8