District Ballot of the 2008 Legislative Yuan Election:A Multilevel Model





Published date: 

June, 2010


Yi-ching Hsiao
Chi Huang


Voters are nested in electoral districts and are therefore often affected
by the macro-level characteristics of the districts. By incorporating both the
individual-level and district-level variables, we construct a two-level model
to analyze voters’ voting choices on the single-member-district ballot in the
2008 legislative election. We find that indeed some theoretically important
variables at both levels play significant roles in voters’ decisions. At the
micro level, we confirm that candidate evaluation, party identification,
political generation, ethnic origin, as well as ethnic identity are significant
factors. Furthermore, the evaluation of the then President Chen Shuibian’s
performance also figures significantly; that is, the more negative
the evaluation is, the less likely it is for a voter to vote for the DPP
candidate. This finding fits the expectations from the referendum voting
and retrospective voting theories. At the district level, on the other hand,
we also find that regardless of whether the candidate is an incumbent
legislature, whether the candidate’s party affiliation coincides with that of
the county magistrate/city mayor, the unemployment rate in the area, as
well as the percentage of population in the farming and fishery industries
also affect voters’ choices. In particular, we find that in the 2008 legislature
election voters in districts with a higher percentage of population in the
farming and fishery industries were more likely to vote for the KMT
candidates. This may indicate that the KMT has more or less maintained its
mobilization capability through local networks in rural areas.