Questions and answers about
the economy.

Lockdown and voting behaviour: a natural experiment on postponed elections during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The goal of this paper is to study the impact of the lockdown policy on voting behaviour, during the Covid-19 pandemic. We focus on France, where a differential lockdown was implemented across departments, based on the local diffusion of the disease. In particular, the country has been divided in two areas, red and green, subject to a “hard” and a “soft” lockdown, respectively. To measure voting behaviour, before and after the policy, we rely on 2020 French municipal elections: the first round took place before the introduction of the restrictions, while the second round was delayed after the end of the lockdown. We estimate a Spatial Regression-Discontinuity-Design model comparing the difference in outcomes between the two electoral rounds, at the border of red and green areas. The main results suggest that lockdown regulations significantly affected electoral outcomes. First, in localities under a harder lockdown, the incumbent’s vote share is higher as well as the consensus for Green parties. Second, voter turnout is larger where more stringent restrictions are adopted. These results suggest that lockdown measures strongly lead citizens to rally around the local incumbent politicians

Lead investigator:

Tommaso Giommoni


ETH Zurich

Primary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Secondary topic:

Nations, regions & cities

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

Publicly available

Unit of real-time data collection




Read the results from this research