Department of Political Science

Søren Serritzlew

Losers Lose more than Winners Win: Asymmetrical Effects of Winning and Losing in Elections

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Robert Klemmensen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Sune Welling Voigt, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
  • Søren Serritzlew

Being on the winning or the losing side in elections has important consequences for voters’ perceptions of democracy. This article contributes to the existing literature by showing that being on the losing side has persistent effects over a surprisingly long time. Based on a dataset that measures voters’ satisfaction with democracy three years after elections were held, it first shows that losers are significantly more dissatisfied with democracy than winners on both input and output side measures of perceptions of democracy. Furthermore, the article shows that turning from winning to losing has significant negative effects on voters’ satisfaction, and that this finding is robust across a number of different specifications. These results are remarkable given that the data used is from Denmark – a country that constitutes a least-likely case for finding effects of being on the winning or the losing side.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
Pages (from-to)1172-1190
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

    Research areas

  • satisfaction with democracy, voters, winners and losers

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