Author Archive

Damien Bol

Damien Bol is a Lecturer (tenure-track) in Political Behaviour at the Department of Political Economy of King's College London. He received a PhD in political science from the University of Louvain in 2013, and spent 3 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Montreal between 2012 and 2015. His research lies at the intersection of political behaviour and comparative politics. He uses experimental and observational methods to study elections in established democracies.

How can we improve the quality of post-election survey data on electoral turnout? That is the core question of our recent paper. We present a novel way to question citizens about their voting behaviour that increases the truthfulness of responses. Our research finds that the inclusion of “face-saving” response items can drastically improve the accuracy of reported turnout. Usually, the turnout reported in post-election surveys is much higher than in reality, and this is partly due to actual abstainers pretending that they have voted. Why do they lie? In many countries, voting is a social norm widely shared by the population. In established democracies voting is considered a duty, and is part and parcel of being a “good citizen”. Public …