Is there any study (probably theoretical) analysing the consequence on voting behaviour of making publicly available in real time the ongoing results of an election? (naturally, enabled only because of electronic voting)

For example, imagine the Brexit referendum in the UK. Imagine all the voting was done electronically, with every polling station connected to a main server which produces immediate analysis of the voting patterns. These patterns are available to all, and hence are constantly reproduced by the media. At 1pm, for instance, you would know that 5 million people voted, with 55% of the votes going to the "Yes" option. I can imagine that this would encourage those that would vote "No" but are not willing to make the effort to do so (young?) to go out and vote.

I think such a system would have massive consequences in terms of behaviour. I am interested in a paper, or perhaps some commentary on this. Any ideas?

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    Stackexchange moderator elections work that way. You vote for a mod candidate by voting on an answer to a meta-question. That means you can see the vote-count of all candidates in real-time. – Philipp Aug 11 '17 at 14:56
  • @Philipp ... and the SE elections mostly go to highest-rep users (i'm not sure if that's true across all the network but I never observed any elections that I recall where highest-rep candidate didn't win). Meaning, the voting mechanism may be rather irrelevant for these elections. – user4012 Aug 11 '17 at 15:33
  • "I can imagine that this would encourage those that would vote "No" but are not willing to make the effort to do so (young?) to go out and vote." It might also do the reverse. People go, 55% against? My vote won't matter. Why bother? – Brythan Aug 11 '17 at 15:44
  • @Brythan Correct. It might also discourage those that are winning. A lot of interesting aspects! – luchonacho Aug 11 '17 at 15:55
  • I'll try and dig up some links, but there is research that things like exit polling absolutely affect election results. – user1530 Aug 11 '17 at 17:15

There is a fairly large body of research on the effects of polling on elections — including the effects of exit polling — which tends to support the existence of strategic voting and the bandwagon effect. In short, people will read polls and change their voting behavior on the fly: moving their vote to some second-best candidate who has a better chance of winning, becoming heartened or disheartened by polls with a consequent impact on their likelihood of voting, etc.

Real-time voting results are a recent phenomena with a small number of actual cases, so if there are any direct studies of it at all, they are likely preliminary. But since real-time voting results provide the same kind of information as exit polls, we can safely assume that same intellectual and emotional conditions will occur, leading to the same general effects across the population.

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