Electoral systems and ideological voting Articles uri icon

publication date

  • November 2022

start page

  • 463

end page

  • 481


  • 4


  • 14

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1755-7739


  • Electoral systems affect vote choice. While a vast literature studies this relationship by examining aggregate-level patterns and focussing on the interparty dimension of electoral rules, the convenience of analyzing this phenomenon by emphasizing the role played by the incentives to cultivate a personal vote generated by the system and matching voters with the party they vote for has been traditionally overlooked. In this article, we offer new evidence that documents the impact of the intraparty dimension of electoral systems on the levels of ideological voting registered in a democracy. Using spatial models of politics and employing data from the five waves of the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, we find that ideological voting in proportional representation systems is higher when lists are either closed or flexible. Moreover, the results suggest that this effect is slightly amplified in the case of high numbers of district-level candidates.


  • Politics
  • Sociology


  • electoral systems; intraparty dimension; left-right ideology; personal vote; closed lists