Making sense of Italy’s constitutional referendum

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Series Details Vol.23, No.3, 2018, p.403-409
Publication Date September 2018
ISSN 1362-9395 (print) | 1743-9418 (online)
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This article seeks to explain the rejection of the reforms proposed in the 2016 Constitutional Referendum in Italy. We contend that Renzi's promise to resign if he were to lose the referendum did not significantly affect the final result. While highly partisan voting patterns may lead to speculation that this so-called personalization strategy caused the rejection, we argue that voters probably would have followed party cues anyway. Instead, we argue that the fundamental explanation for the results was voter ambivalence towards the reforms themselves, based on insufficient information about the complex package and its broad coalition of opponents.

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ESO: Key source: Italian constitutional referendum, 2016

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