- Off the fence, onto the bandwagon? A large-scale survey experiment on effect of real-life poll outcomes on subsequent vote intentions
- International Journal of Public Opinion Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 28 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Despite decades of scholarly inquiry, the debate on the existence of a bandwagon effect in politics remains undecided. This article aims to overcome the limitations of previous experimental and survey research. We test to what extent success in real-life polling outcomes of the previous weeks influences subsequent vote intentions. To this end, we designed a large-scale survey experiment among a diverse cross-section of the Dutch electorate (N = 23,421). We find that simple polling outcomes by themselves do not affect subsequent vote intentions. We do find evidence for a subtle but relevant bandwagon effect: An emphasis on growth in the opinion polls stimulates subsequent support. However, there is no evidence that the bandwagon effect is more apparent among people who were on the fence.
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