The Blank and the Null: An examination of non-conventional voting choices
This paper analyses the determinants of null and blank voting at the 2011 Portuguese legislative elections. An extensive datasets at the parish level and a fractional regression model estimator are used to estimate both voting alternatives. The results found point to some common explanatory patterns as well as to important differences between the two choices. Evidence also indicates that the performance of the local economy, especially unemployment, is important but only for the explanation of blank variations and in more urban areas, where more sophisticated voters reside. Furthermore, results point to the presence of a relevant degree of persistence in both choices and indicate that past electoral choices influence both voting choices in a way that seems to suggest the existence of protest motives.