Volume 94, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0025-9454
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2816



In a well-functioning democracy voters should elect parties and representatives with whom they agree on policy issues. The current paper investigates the extent to which Dutch voters in the 2017 parliamentary election had accurate information about parties’ policy positions. We elicit the extent to which voters they vote for parties with whom they maximally agree () and the extent to which this is actually (). Results show voters in our sample to have accurate information about approximately half of the policy positions of a random large party. Only 21.5 percent voted for a party with whom they were maximally objectively congruent. Objective congruence does not increase with information accuracy. Voters appear to consciously accept losses in terms of subjective congruence, as only 34.7 percent votes for a party with whom they to be maximally congruent. These results are compatible with the interpretation of voters choosing a party, and (to some degree) adapting their personal policy positions to those of the chosen party.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): congruence; information; policy preferences; representation; voting behavior

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