Bolshakov Ivan

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  • 1, 2020

    • Consolidation or Protest? Smart Voting in Moscow Elections

      The article is devoted to the study of the results of the 2019 Moscow City Duma election campaign and the impact of the “smart voting” strategy proposed by A.Navalny. The authors suggest that a high assessment of this strategy, which is often associated with the relative success of the opposition in Moscow elections, is emotional rather than scientific, and test the validity of this strategy using statistical and correlation analysis. They interpret “smart voting” as a kind of tactical voting, which has a completely different nature than a protest vote.

      The authors measure a quantitative effect of protest and tactical voting by comparing the level of support for candidates in the 2019 Moscow City Duma and its previous elections, examine significant correlations between various indicators and evaluate possible effects of voter turnout, level of competition and the electoral potential of the district on voting outcomes. After that they conclude that the success of the opposition can be explained by the combination of two factors: the increase in protest sentiments, which reduced the electoral base of the pro-government nominees, and the decrease in the level of competition inside the opposition, due to both the “smart voting” strategy and disqualification of candidates. These factors largely ensured the flow of votes away from the administrative candidates and weak opposition members to the most powerful opposition candidates, thereby contributing to their victory. “Smart voting” contributed to this vic- tory, but did not determine the overall outcome of the elections. Its quantitative effect amounted to 5.6% of the vote, while the effect of the protest vote was 9.7%. Moreover, while “smart voting” played a decisive role in the victory of several candidates, it deprived of victory approximately the same number of opposition representatives who were not able to confront two competitors simultaneously.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2020-96-1-50-73

      Pages: 50-73