Operationalisation of the Floating Voters Hypothesis in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
Keywords:Vote, Voter, Floating Voter, Voting Behaviour, General Elections, Decision to Vote, Local Government Elections, Political Awareness, Performance of Political Parties
Vote bank of almost all the political parties in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is fluctuating in every general election. It is believed that a significant ratio of floating voters exists in KP. These voters play a significant role as key deciders in every general election. But the basic question is "who are the floating voters and how do they influence the outcomes of the general elections in KP? This study is an attempt to test the floating voters’ hypothesis in KP. For testing this hypothesis, a four variable scale that includes, decision to vote; political awareness; satisfaction from the performance of the political party and interest in political and/or party affairs is used. Data collection is done through a closed-ended survey questionnaire and a multi-stage sampling technique is used for this purpose. Data is collected from three geographical regions of KP i.e., North, Centre, and South. The study population is total voters of KP, and a representative sample of 1200 respondents is determined through a statistical formula. Chi-Square test is used for the correlations of independent and dependent variables. The analysis of data confirmed the "floating voters’ hypothesis" and identified a significant ratio of floating voters in the KP.
Ahmad, N., Bano, A., & Rehman, A. U. (2017). Impact of informal institutional forces on the local government elections in Pakistan. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 1(1), 62-70. https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/1.1.7 DOI: https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/1.1.7
Albright, J. (2009). Does Political knowledge erode party attachments? A review of the cognitive mobilization thesis. Electoral Studies, 28(2), 248-260. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2009.01.001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2009.01.001
Badshah, L. Rehman, A. U., & Muhammad, N. (2018). Political determinants of voting behaviour in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 2(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/2.1.1 DOI: https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/2.1.1
Berelson, B. R., Lazarsfeld, P. F., McPhee, W. N. (1963). Voting: A study of opinion formation in a presidential campaign. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (4. Aufl, Original 1954).
Bilal, M., Rehman, A. U. & Ahmad, A. (2018). Political reforms and women political participation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 2(2), 67-79. https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/2.2.8 DOI: https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/2.2.8
Campbell, A., Converse, P., Miller, W., & Stokes, D. E. (1960). The American Voter. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Campbell, S. W., & Kwak, N. (2010). Mobile communication and civic life: Linking patterns of use to civic and political engagement. Journal of Communication, 60(3), 536-555. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2010.01496.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.2010.01496.x
Carmines, E. G., & Stimson, J. A. (1980). The two faces of issue voting. American Political Science Review, 74(1), 78-91. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/1955648
Carpini, M. D., & Keeter, S. (1996). What Americans know about Politics & why it Matters. New York: Yale University Press.
Claassen, R. L. (2007). Floating voters and floating activists: Political change and information. Political Research Quarterly, 60(1), 124-134. https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912906298594 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1065912906298594
Converse, P. E. (1962). Information flow and the stability of partisan attitudes. Public Opinion Quarterly, 26(4), 578-599. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/267129
Crow, D. (2005). Crossing Party Lines: Volatility and Ticket Splitting in Mexico (1994-2000). Bulletin of Latin American Research, 24(1), 1-22. https://www.jstor.org/stable/27733712 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.0261-3050.2005.00122.x
Dalton, R. J. (2007). Partisan Mobilization, Cognitive Mobilisation, and the Changing American Electorate. Electoral Studies, 26(2), 274-286. https://escholarship.org/content/qt7gz6t2bb/qt7gz6t2bb.pdf DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2006.04.009
Dalton, R. J. (2013). The apartisan American: Dealignment and changing electoral politics. SAGE Publications Inc. CQ Press.
Dalton, R., McAllister, I., & Wattenberg, M. (2000). The consequences of partisan dealignment. In R. Dalton, & M. Wattenberg (Eds.), Parties Without Partisans (pp. 37-63). Oxford: Oxford University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/0199253099.003.0003
Dassonneville, R., Blais, A., & Dejaeghere, Y. (2015). Staying with the party, switching, or exiting? A comparative analysis of determinants of party switching and abstaining. Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 25(3), 387-405. https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2015.1016528 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2015.1016528
Dassonneville, R., & Dejaeghere, Y. (2014). Bridging the ideological space. A cross-national analysis of the distance of party switching. European Journal of Political Research, 53(3), 580-599. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12049
Stokes, D. E. (1961). Floating voters and the floating vote: A critical analysis of American and English election studies. Leiden, Holland: Kroese. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/2109101
Dorussen, H., & Taylor, M. (2001). The political context of issue-priority voting: Coalitions and economic voting in Netherlands, 1970-1999. Electoral Studies, 20(3), 399-426. http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/10095 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0261-3794(00)00026-3
Dreyer, E. C. (1971). Media Use and Electoral Choices: Some Political Consequences of Information Exposure, Public Opinion Quarterly, XXIV, 544-553. https://doi.org/10.1177/000276427201500645 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/267950
Graham, R. J. (1989). Media literacy and cultural politics. Adult Education Quarterly, 39(3), 152-160. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0001848189039003003
Gopoian, J. D., & Sissie, H. S. (1994). Late-deciding voters in presidential elections. Political Behaviour, 16(1), 55-78. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01541642
Habert, P., and Lancelot, A. (1988). L’emergence d’un nouvel electeur. In Elections legislatives 1988, Paris: Le Figaro Etudes politiques, 16-23.
Junn, J. (1991). Participation and political knowledge. In William Crotty, ed., Political participation, and American democracy. Westport: Green-wood Press.
Kuhn, U. (2009). Stability and change in party preference. Swiss Political Science Review, 15(3), 463-494. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/j.1662-6370.2009.tb00142.x
Lachat, R. (2007). A heterogeneous electorate, political sophistication, predisposition strength, and the voting decision process. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlag. DOI: https://doi.org/10.5771/9783845204895
Langton, K. P. (1969). Political socialization. New York: Oxford University Press.
Lazarsfeld, P. F., Berelson, B., & Gaudet, H. (1968). The people's choice: How the voter makes up his mind in a presidential campaign (Vol. 3). New York: Columbia University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7312/laza93930
Massialas, B. G. (1971). Political socialization in international perspective. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1201 Sixteenth Street, NW Washington, 282.
Van-der-Meer, T. W. G., Elsas, V. E., Lubbe, R., & Brug, V. W. (2015). Are volatile voters erratic, whimsical or seriously picky? A panel study of 58 waves into the nature of electoral volatility (The Netherlands 2006-2010). Party Politics, 21(1), 100-114. https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068812472570 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/1354068812472570
Muxel, A. (2009). EU movers and politics: Towards a fully-fledged European citizenship? Pioneers of European Integration: Citizenship and Mobility in the EU. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar, 156-160.
Naazer, M. A., Mahmood, A., & Ashfaq, S. (2017). Political rights situation during Musharraf era: 1999-2004. Liberal Arts and Social Sciences International Journal (LASSIJ), 1(1), 20-31. https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/1.1.3 DOI: https://doi.org/10.47264/idea.lassij/1.1.3
Rapoport, R. B., & Stone, W. J. (1994). A Model for Disaggregating Political Change. Political Behaviour, 16(4), 505-532. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01498828
Shah, M. H., Yaqoob, M., Kausar, S., & Kumar, A. (2016). Correlation between newspapers’ agenda and public agenda on national issues during general elections 2013 in Pakistan. International Journal of Journalism and Communication, 1(1), 1-10. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijjc.20160101.12
Soderlund, P. (2008). Retrospective voting and electoral volatility: A Nordic perspective states. Scandinavian Political Studies, 31(2), 217-240. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9477.2008.00203.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9477.2008.00203.x
Sotirovic, M., & McLeod, J. M. (2001). Values, communication behaviour and political participation. Political Communication, 18(3), 273-300. https://doi.org/10.1080/10584600152400347 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10584600152400347
Tiberj, V. (2015). Going against the tide: Experimental survey design for measuring prejudices in France. Migration and Citizenship, 4(1), (Winter 2015/16), 28-33. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-01242831/
Trent, J. S., & Friedenberg, R. V. (2004). Political campaign communication: Principles and practices. New York: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Usman, M., & Asghar, M. (1988). Pakistan ki Siaysi Jumate. Sangi Meel Publications: Lahore.
Verba, S., Schlozman, K. L., & Bradyd, H. E. (1995). Voice and equality: Civic voluntarism in American politics. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctv1pnc1k7
Willocq, S. (2016). Why do voters change their mind during an election campaign? An analysis of the determinants of the campaign volatility at the 2014 Belgian Federal elections. Open Journal of Political Science, 6(4), 363-386. https://doi.org/10.4236/ojps.2016.64033 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4236/ojps.2016.64033
Willocq, S. (2016, September). Why do they take longer to make up their mind? A comparative study on late deciding voters in western democracies. In EPOP Conference: University of Kent (pp. 9-11).
Zelle, C. (1995). Social de-alignment versus political frustration: Contrasting explanations of the floating vote in Germany. European Journal of Political Research, 27(3), 319-345. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6765.1995.tb00473.x DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6765.1995.tb00473.x
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2019 Hassan Shah, Ashfaq U. Rehman, Wajid Mehmood
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
Licensing & Copyright Policies
Articles in LASSIJ-IDEA are Open Access contents published under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) http://
The copyright policy of LASSIJ-IDEA is based on a non-exclusive publishing agreement, according to which the journal retains the right of first publication, but the author(s) are free to subsequently publish their work. The copyright of all work rests with the author(s).
The users may use, reproduce, disseminate or display the article(s) provided that the author(s) are attributed as the original creators and that the reuse is restricted to non-commercial purposes, i.e., research or other educational use. Authors are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the various creative commons licenses.