From 2000 Bush–Gore to 2006 Italian elections: voting at fifty-fifty and the contrarian effect

From 2000 Bush–Gore to 2006 Italian elections: voting at fifty-fifty and the contrarian effect A sociophysical model for opinion dynamics is shown to embody a series of recent western hung national votes all set at the unexpected and very improbable edge of a fifty-fifty score. It started with the Bush–Gore 2000 American presidential election, followed by the 2002 Stoiber–Schröder, then the 2005 Schröder–Merkel German elections, and finally the 2006 Prodi-Berlusconi Italian elections. In each case, the country was facing drastic choices, the running competing parties were advocating very different programs and millions of voters were involved. Moreover, polls were given a substantial margin for the predicted winner. While all these events were perceived as accidental and isolated, our model suggests that indeed they are deterministic and obey to one single universal phenomena associated to the effect of contrarian behavior on the dynamics of opinion forming. The not hung Bush–Kerry 2004 presidential election is shown to belong to the same universal frame. To conclude, the existence of contrarians hints at the repetition of hung elections in the near future. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Quality & Quantity Springer Journals

From 2000 Bush–Gore to 2006 Italian elections: voting at fifty-fifty and the contrarian effect

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science + Business Media B.V.
Subject
Social Sciences; Methodology of the Social Sciences; Social Sciences, general
ISSN
0033-5177
eISSN
1573-7845
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11135-007-9072-8
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A sociophysical model for opinion dynamics is shown to embody a series of recent western hung national votes all set at the unexpected and very improbable edge of a fifty-fifty score. It started with the Bush–Gore 2000 American presidential election, followed by the 2002 Stoiber–Schröder, then the 2005 Schröder–Merkel German elections, and finally the 2006 Prodi-Berlusconi Italian elections. In each case, the country was facing drastic choices, the running competing parties were advocating very different programs and millions of voters were involved. Moreover, polls were given a substantial margin for the predicted winner. While all these events were perceived as accidental and isolated, our model suggests that indeed they are deterministic and obey to one single universal phenomena associated to the effect of contrarian behavior on the dynamics of opinion forming. The not hung Bush–Kerry 2004 presidential election is shown to belong to the same universal frame. To conclude, the existence of contrarians hints at the repetition of hung elections in the near future.

Journal

Quality & QuantitySpringer Journals

Published: Apr 5, 2007

References

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