The impact of electoral reforms on voting preferences: The Israeli 1996 and 1999 cases

Hani Zubida*, David Nachmias

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electoral institutions and salient ‘issues’ bear significant effects on voting behaviour. One of the most intriguing voting patterns, split voting, is a combination of the two. This article examines the impact of changes in electoral institutions on voting behaviour. Employing the well-known ‘balancing model’ it analyses the impact of multi-issue political context on the generalizability of the model. Israel presents a unique case in which a change in the electoral institution was implemented fully only twice before returning to the old system. The article uses individual-level data collected prior to the two electoral campaigns to analyse the ability of the balancing model to account for the multi-faceted, multi-identity scheme. The findings show that for the most salient issue the model holds; however, when looking at secondary issues and self-identifications of voters the model fails to predict split voting. Finally, the effects of the institutional change on voting patterns are analysed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)517-529
Number of pages13
JournalIsrael Affairs
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2 Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • balancing model
  • identity scale
  • sincere and strategic vote
  • split voting


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