Electoral reform, situational forces, and political confidence: Results from a multi-wave panel

J. Ryan Lamare, James W. Lamare

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Political confidence scores have been attributed to two sources: one structural, the other situational. To reverse a loss in political confidence, New Zealand chose a structural remedy and changed its electoral system to include the election of Members of Parliament on the basis of proportional representation. This paper examines the impact of electoral reform on confidence by tracking a panel of individuals surveyed before, during, and after the implementation of proportional representation. We employ a hybrid-effects model to explore the importance of electoral system change and find that both structural reform and situational factors orthogonally shaped political confidence. Interaction terms indicate that the influence of electoral reform is moderated by considerations of party control of government, ideological commitment, and perceptions of economic conditions. Opinion change over time is much more evident at the aggregate than at the individual level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)361-371
Number of pages11
JournalElectoral Studies
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015


  • Attitude change
  • Electoral reform
  • Hybrid-effects model
  • New Zealand
  • Panel study
  • Political confidence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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