Despite the vast coalition literature, pre-electoral coalitions have never been at the center of any systematic, cross-national research. Given their prevalence and potential impact on government composition and policies, this represents a serious omission in our knowledge of coalitions. I begin to remedy this situation by testing two hypotheses found in the literature on party coalitions. The first is that pre-electoral coalitions are more likely to form in disproportional systems if there are a sufficiently large number of parties. The second is that pre-electoral coalitions are more likely to form if voters face high uncertainty about the identity of future governments. These hypotheses are tested using a new dataset comprising legislative elections in 22 advanced industrialized countries between 1946 and 1998. The results of the statistical analysis support the first hypothesis, but not the second.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Political Science and International Relations