Schoen, H.; Faas, T.:

Reihenfolgeeffekte bei der bayrischen Landtagswahl 2003: Die Ersten werden die Ersten sein.

In: Zeitschrift für Parlamentsfragen, Jg. 36 (2005) ; Nr. 1, S. 100-116
ISSN: 0340-1758
Zeitschriftenaufsatz / Fach: Politikwissenschaft
The electoral system used in Bavarian state elections is quite unique: Voters cast two candidate votes. The intention is to strengthen the link between all MPs and their voters. However, it seems questionable whether voters actually use this power manifesting itself in the chance to alter the order of candidates on the ballot. From a theoretical point of view, it is likely that candidates seated on the top positions on party lists (and especially the leader of a party list) receive a large bonus of votes. This expectation can be confirmed empirically: Controlling for a variety of other factors, the top position on a party list renders a considerable bonus of about 40 percentage points. Candidates on other top positions also benefit. In other words, voters do not tend to cast personal votes although the electoral system provides this option. Instead, many seem to reinterpret the candidate-focussed system as if it were a party-focussed system by simply voting for the top-seated candidates.