This article aims to identify the institutional factors that make a referendum successful. This comparative analysis seeks to explain the success of top-down referendums organized in Europe between 2001 and 2013. It argues and tests for the main effect of three institutional factors (popularity of the initiator, size of parliamentary majority, and political cues during referendum campaigns) and controls for the type of referendum and voter turnout. The analysis uses data collected from referendums and electoral databases, public opinion surveys, and newspaper articles. Results show that referendums proposed by a large parliamentary majority or with clear messages from political parties during campaign are likely to be successful.
- referendum, direct democracy, success,party cues