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Strategic voting is thought to underpin Duverger’s Law and lead to two-party outcomes in single-member district plurality (SMDP) systems. We examine the extent of strategic voting in the world’s most populous democracy, India, where frequent exceptions to Duverger’s Law have long puzzled political scientists. Using an original voter survey from the 2017 Uttar Pradesh state election, we find extremely low rates of strategic voting. Why? We show that the overwhelming majority of respondents believe that their preferred party is likely to win in their constituency. For most voters, their partisan preferences overwhelmingly predict their beliefs about which party will win in their constituency. Their election forecasts correspond to objective electoral outcomes only with respect to parties that they like less.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
JournalAmerican Political Science Review
Early online date13 Apr 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Apr 2022

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