Keep calm and fall into line: How local referendum outcomes shape the losers’ consent

Dominik Schraff, Ioannis Vergioglou

Publikation: Working paper/PreprintPreprint


This paper argues that the local electoral context conditions the degree of losers’ consent after a democratic vote. Focusing on the case of Brexit, we hypothesize that ex-post knowledge of holding a minority position in the local constituency pushes individuals to adjust their policy preferences about UK-EU relations, thus changing policy preferences towards the democratic majority in their residential surroundings. We employ a regression discontinuity design in the context of local Brexit vote outcomes and find that the local average treatment effect of residing in a Leave constituency boosts preferences for independence from the EU. This effect is mainly driven by Remain voters, who show an increased preference for an independent UK if they end up in a local minority position. These findings provide causal evidence on how local context shapes losers’ consent to democratic decisions.
UdgiverOSF Preprints
Antal sider51
StatusUdgivet - 31 jan. 2022