Individual Submission Summary

Direct link:

French Electoral Accountability in a Multi-Elections Context

Thu, August 31, 8:00 to 9:30am, Hilton Union Square, Franciscan B


In this paper we investigate the role of party-specific responsibility attributions on performance-based voting in a multi-level governance context. Long characterized as a unitary country, electoral accountability in France has typically been tested at the national level looking at the influence of attributions of responsibility for national outcomes on national electoral outcomes. Nevertheless, during the same legislature, the level of accountability may vary according to the assessments by voters of the economic situation in both their local and national contexts. In this way, the classic mechanisms through which electoral accountability is designed may suffer from a double bias linked to the dynamics of intermediate elections and a split between personal vote and assessments of party responsibility. We are thus interested in assessing the extent to which good or bad results are differently attributed to political parties or individual representatives. Moreover, the variety of electoral systems in France for different elections under investigation provides a good case to measure/control for the effects of institutions on the attribution of electoral accountability.

To test our hypotheses, we take advantage of a new dataset of surveys run by the MEDW (Making Electoral Democracy Work) project which combines data from three levels of elections (local, national and European). The same questionnaire has been submitted to a representative sample allowing us to compare the attribution of responsibility for a range of different types of outcomes across different levels of government.