Split-Voting in Taiwan's concurrent election and referendum: An exploratory test of social context

Hsin Hao Huang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Exploring the issue of referendum voting has become an important aid to understanding the development of democracy in Taiwan. Three referendums on six issues have been held since 2004, and each of them has been held in conjunction with a nationwide election. This paper uses the approach of straight/split- ticket voting to explore Taiwan's referendum voting behavior. Through a case study of the 2008 presidential election, this paper draws ecological inferences from aggregate data and examines the effects of different social contexts on split voting by KMT and DPP voters. By using Wakefield's hierarchical method, it is shown that whether Taiwanese voters picked up referendum ballots in 2008 depended mostly on which party they voted for in the presidential election. This finding indicates that partisanship remained influential in referendum voting of Taiwan. However, social context also matters from the viewpoint of information transmission. This paper examines split-voting behavior by region and addresses different contextual measurements of the political support, economic development, and ethnic cohesion as exploratory factors. By using aggregate data to probe local opinion, this paper provides an alternative approach to explaining voting behavior by regional difference.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-126
Number of pages40
JournalIssues and Studies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Jun


  • Ecological inference
  • Referendum turnout
  • Social context
  • Split voting
  • Taiwan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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