Voting Behaviour among the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Electorate

Authors: Andrea M.L. Perrella, Steven D. Brown, and Barry J. Kay

Published in March 2012 in Canadian Journal of Political Science.

Abstract. The gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) population is a good example of a demographic group that has been understudied because it is difficult to develop a subsample of sufficient size from typical national samples. Here we exploit the extraordinary size of a 2006 online election day survey (with about 35,000 respondents) to examine how the GLBT community behaves politically. While it will surprise no one that this community bestowed little support on Stephen Harper’s Conservative party in the 2006 federal election, the factors behind such a consistent vote pattern are not adequately understood. In order to shed more light on the voting behaviour of the GLBT electorate, we develop a socio-demographic profile of the group, and explore three explanatory angles: 1) salience of issue campaign dynamics, given that the same-sex marriage issue was prominent in 2006; 2) ideological and attitudinal proclivities; and 3) strategic considerations.

 

The Election Timing Advantage: Empirical Fact or Fiction?

Authors: Jason Roy and Christopher Alcantara

Published July 2012 in Electoral Studies.

Abstract: Do non-fixed election dates in Westminster parliamentary democracies create an unfair incumbent advantage? The consensus in the literature is that the incumbent party can gain an advantage at the ballot box by controlling election timing (Bakvis, 2001; Docherty, 2010; Smith, 2004; White, 2005; Wolinetz, 2005). Surprisingly, however, there is a lack of empirical evidence to support this claim. We address this lacuna by providing an empirical test of whether the election-timing power matters for incumbent vote support. We do so by employing an innovative web-based voting experiment. Our findings show that the government does gain an advantage by timing an election when it is to their advantage, but the context is limited to conditions where the election follows immediately after a heightened level of positive government coverage.