Stuck between a Rock and a Hard Place: Electoral Dilemmas and Turnout in the 2002 French Legislative Elections

  • Thomas Gschwend
  • Dirk Leuffen
Part of the French Politics, Society and Culture Series book series (FPSC)


How does cohabitation affect turnout? Cohabitation has been differently evoked to explain the outcomes of the 2002 French elections: Whereas some authors blamed the long cohabitation between President Chirac and Prime Minister Jospin for Jean-Marie Le Pen’s success at the presidential elections (Parodi, 2002), others held the issue of cohabitation responsible for the outcome of the legislative elections.’ However, the impact of the issue of cohabitation on election turnout has not been quantitatively assessed.


Vote Behaviour American Political Science Review Vote Choice Political Efficacy Parliamentary Election 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aldrich, J.H. (1993) “Rational Choice and Turnout”, American Journal of Political Science 37(1): 246–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Alesina, A. and Rosenthal, H. (1995) Partisan Politics, Divided Government and the Economy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Appleton, A.M. (2000) “The France That Doesn’t Vote: Nonconsumption in the Electoral Market”, in: Lewis-Beck, Michael S. (ed.) How France Votes, New York and London: Chatham House, pp. 206–226.Google Scholar
  4. Bell, D.S. and Criddle, B. (2002) “Presidentialism Restored: The French Elections of April—May and June 2002”, Parliamentaty Affairs 55(4): 643–663.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Boy, D. and Dupoirier, E. (1993) “Is the voter a Strategist?”, in: Boy, Daniel and Mayer, Nonna (eds) The French Voter Decides, Ann Arbor, Michigan: University of Michigan Press, pp. 149–166.Google Scholar
  6. Bréchon, P. (1998) La France Aux Urnes: Cinquante ans d’histoire électorale, Paris: La documentation française.Google Scholar
  7. Campbell, A., Gurin, A. and Miller, W.E. (1954) The Voter Decides, Evanston: Row, Peterson & Co.Google Scholar
  8. Campbell, A., Converse, P.E., Miller, W.E. and Stokes, D.E. (1960) The American Voter, New York and London: John Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Chiche, J. and Dupoirier, É. (1998) “L’abstention aux élections législatives de 1997”, in: Perrineau, Pascal and Ysmal, Colette (eds) Le vote surprise. Les élections législatives des 25 mai et 1er juin 1997, Paris: Presses de Sciences Po, pp. 141–159.Google Scholar
  10. Chiche, J., Dupoirier, É. and Grunberg, G. (1992) “La participation dans tous ses états (1986–1992)”, in: Habert, Philippe, Perrineau, Pascal and Ysmal, Colette (eds) Le vote éclaté. Les élections régionales et cantonales des 22 et 29 mars 1992, Paris: Département d’études politiques du Figaro et des presses de la fondation nationale des sciences politiques, pp. 165–186.Google Scholar
  11. Chiroux, R. (2001a) “Chronique politique: L’inversion du calendrier électoral pour l’année 2002”, La revue administrative 54 (319): 94–98.Google Scholar
  12. Chiroux, R. (2001b) “Chronique politique: Les Français commencent-ils à douter de la cohabitation?”, La revue administrative 54 (324): 652–656.Google Scholar
  13. Cole, A. (2002) ‘A Strange Affair: The 2002 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in France’, Government and Opposition 37(3): 317–342.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Converse, Philip, E. and Pierce, Roy (1986) Political Representation in France, Cambridge, Mass: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Converse, P. and Pierce, R. (1993) “Comment on Fleury and Leuis-Beck: Anchoring the French votes; ideology versus party” in Journal of Politics 55(4): 1110–1117.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Davis, O.A., Hinich, M.J. and Ordeshook, P.C. (1970) ‘An Expository Development of a Mathematical Model of the Electoral Process’, American Political Science Review 64(2): 426–448.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dolez, B. (2002) “Les mystères de la chambre bleue: des voix aux sièges lors des élections législatives de juin 2002”, Revue française de science politique 52(5–6): 577–591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Elgie, R. (2001) “’Cohabitation’: Divided Government French Style”, in: Elgie, Robert (ed.) Divided Government in Comparative Perspective, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 106–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Enelow, J.H. and Hinich, M.J. (1984) The Spatial Theory of Voting. An Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Fauvelle-Aymar, C., Lafay, J.-D. and Servais, M. (2000) “The impact of turnout on electoral choices: an econometric analysis of the French case”, Electoral Studies 19: 393–412.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fiorina, M.P. (1991) ‘Coalition Governments, Divided Governments, and Electoral Theory’, Governance 4(3): 236–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fleury, C. and Lewis-Beck, M. (1993a) “Anchoring the French voter: ideology versus party” in Journal of Politics 55(4): 1100–1109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fleury, C. and Lewis-Beck, M. (1993b) “Déjà vu all over again: a comment on the Comment of Converse and Pierce” in Journal of Politics 55(4): 1118–1126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Grunberg, G. (1999) “Du cohabitationnisme de l’opinion”, Pouvoirs. Revue française d’études constitutionelles et politiques 91: 83–95.Google Scholar
  25. Gschwend, T. (2003) “Statistical Control”, in: Lewis-Beck, Michael, Bryman, Alan and Liao, Tim Futing (eds) The Sage Encyclopedia of Social Science Research Methods, Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 2004.Google Scholar
  26. Gschwend, T. and Leuffen, D. (2003) When Voters Choose Regimes: The Issue of Cohabitation in the French Elections of 2002, MZES working paper 63.Google Scholar
  27. Jacobson, G.C. (1990) The Electoral Origins of Divided Government: Competition in U.S. House Elections, 1946–1988, Boulder, Col.: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  28. King, G., Tomz, M. and Wittenberg, J. (2000) “Making the Most of Statistical Analyses: Improving Interpretation and Presentation”, American Journal of Political Science 44: 347–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lancelot, A. (1968) L’abstentionnisme electoral en France, Cahiers de la fondation nationale des sciences politiques 162, Paris: Armand Colin.Google Scholar
  30. Laver, M. and Shepsle, K.A. (1991) “Divided Government: America is not exceptional”, Governance 4: 250–269.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lazarsfeld, P.F., Berelson, B. and Gaudet, H. (1948) The People’s Choice. How the Voter makes up his Mind in A Presidential Campaign, New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Lijphart, A. (1997) “Unequal Participation: Democracy’s Unresolved Dilemmas”, American Political Science Review 91: 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Muxel, A. (2002) “La participation politique des jeunes: soubresauts, fractures et ajustements”, Revue française de science politique 52(5–6): 521–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Parodi, J.-L. (2002) L’enigme de la cohabitation, ou les effets pervers d’une pré-sélection annoncée, Revue française de science politique 52(5–6): 485–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pierce, R. (1991) “The Executive Divided against Itself: Cohabitation in France, 1986–1988”, Governance, 4(3), 270–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Riker, W.H. and Ordeshook, P.C. (1973) An Introduction to Positive Political Theory, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  37. Rosenthal, H. and Sen, S. (1973) “Electoral Participation in the French Fifth Republic”, American Political Science Review 67(1): 29–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sartori, G. (1994) Comparative Constitutional Engineering: An Inquiry into Structures, incentives and Outcomes, New York: New York University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Schmitt, H. and Gschwend, T. 2003. French Inter-election Survey 2002 — The French CSES H Study. Computerfile and Codebook (in conjunction with MZES Mannheim, ZA Köln and Fritz Thyssen Foundation). Mannheim: MZES 2002 (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  40. Schrameck, O. (2001) Matignon Rive Gauche1997–2001, Paris: Seuil.Google Scholar
  41. Shugart, M.S. (1995) “The Electoral Cycle and Institutional Sources of Divided Presidential Government”, American Political Science Review 89(2): 327–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sigelman, L., Wahlbeck, P.J. and Buell, E.H., Jr (1997) “Vote Choice and the Preference for Divided Government: Lessons of 1992”, American Journal of Political Science 41(3): 879–894.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Subileau, F. and Toinet, M.-F. (1989) “L’abstentionnisme en France et aux EtatsUnis: méthodes et interprétations”, in: Gaxie, Daniel (ed.) Explication du vote. Un bilan des études électorales en France, Paris: Presses de la fondation nationale des sciences politiques, pp. 175–198.Google Scholar
  44. Sundquist, J. (1988) “Needed: A Political Theory for the New Era of Coalition Government in the United States”, in: Political Science Quaterly 103: 613–635.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Thurner, P.W. and Eymann, A. (2000) “Policy-specific alienation and indifference in the calculus of voting: A simultaneous model of party choice and abstention”, Public Chnice 102. 51–77.Google Scholar
  46. Tomz, M., Wittenberg, J. and King, G. (2001) CLARIFY: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results, Version 2.0. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University, June 1: Scholar
  47. Verba, S. and Nie, N. (1972) Participation in America. Political Democracy and Social Equality, New York: Harper and Row.Google Scholar
  48. Wattenberg, M.P. (1991) “The Republican Presidential Advantage in the Age of Party Disunity”, in: Cox, Gary W. and Kernell, Samuel (eds) The Politics of Divided Government, Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, pp. 39–55.Google Scholar
  49. Zaller, J. (1992) The Nature and Origins of Mass Opinion, New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Zaller, J. and Feldman, S. (1992) “A Simple Theory of the Survey Response: Answering Questions versus Revealing Preferences”, American Journal of Political Science 36: 579–616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Gschwend
  • Dirk Leuffen

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations