Adam-Troian, J ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2285-4114, Bonetto, E, Varet, F, Arciszewski, T and Guiller, T (2022) Pathogen threat increases electoral success for conservative parties: Results from a natural experiment with COVID-19 in France. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences.

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Abstract

Conservative ideology is closely linked with pathogen prevalence, and adherence to conservative values increases under pathogen threat. To this day, few studies have demonstrated this effect using ecological voter data. For the first time, we analyze results from an election (the 2020 French local election) which was held during the growing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) spread in the country. Using mixed modeling on county-level data (N = 96), we show that perceived COVID-19 threat (search volume indices) but not real threat (prevalence rates) prior to the election are positively associated with an increase in conservative votes only. These results were robust to adjustment on several covariates including abstention rates, prior electoral scores for conservative parties, and economic characteristics. Overall, a 1% increase in COVID-19 search volumes lead to an increase in conservative votes of .25%, 95% CI [.08, .41]. These results highlight the relevance of evolutionary theory for understanding real-life political behavior and indicate that the current COVID-19 pandemic could have a substantial impact on electoral outcomes. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final version of this manuscript and all relevant information related to it, including copyrights, can be found on the publisher website.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 04 Aug 2022 13:30
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 13:30
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/11188

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