And yet it matters: referendum campaigns and vote decision in Eastern Europe

Sergiu Gherghina, Nanuli Silagadze

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Referendums campaigns are important and earlier research closely analysed their general functioning, effects on turnout, and the importance of media and information for voting behaviour. However, the role of referendum campaigns as such (with all its components) in shaping voting behaviour was widely neglected. This article seeks to partially fill this gap in the literature and argues that referendum campaign is an important predictor of the voting decision as long as people perceive it as informative and follow it. We investigate this effect in the context of three referendums organized in 2015–2016 in Bulgaria, Poland and Slovakia. The results indicate that these two variables explain the decision of citizens to support referendums across different settings. Their effects are consistent and significantly stronger than alternative explanations employed in the literature such as the limited effect of campaigns, second-order elections, partisan cues or amount of information received.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDemocratic Innovations in Central and Eastern Europe
EditorsSergiu Gherghina, Joakim Ekman, Olena Podolian
Place of Publication Abingdon, Oxon
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)780367822354
ISBN (Print)9780367421670
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2019
MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


  • Referendum campaign
  • policies
  • voting
  • Eastern Europe


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