Electoral silences, also known as cooling-off or blackout periods, are enforced in some countries to allow time for voters to reflect before casting their votes. During this period no active campaigning by the candidates is allowed. Often polling is also banned.

Has there been any study on the effect of such a ban on election outcomes, i.e. whether the incumbent or the opposition would receive more votes had there not been a ban?

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    I would expect that the main effect - if any - would be on GOTV efforts and not the voting choices, based on how little the advertising effects voter even over long term (cite: 538)
    – user4012
    Dec 29, 2014 at 18:52
  • @DVK Do you have a link to that 538 article? I'd be interested in reading it, and I think I missed it when it was published.
    – Publius
    Dec 30, 2014 at 19:47
  • @Avi - nope sorry. I read on RSS fead
    – user4012
    Dec 30, 2014 at 20:17
  • @DVK That's a shame, hopefully I'll run across it.
    – Publius
    Dec 30, 2014 at 20:18
  • I was under the impression was part of this ban was to ensure there was no intimidation at polling stations or conflict between opposition campaign teams at the polls, not necessarily to give a 'reflection period'.
    – Twelfth
    Nov 30, 2017 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


No, because that's an impossible question. You might as well ask whether the absense of UFOs on election day effects the outcome. Imagine asking people "would you have voted any differently if aliens invaded earth yesterday?" See how meaningless that is?

You can't even speculate about it in theory effectively, because there's no way to verify anything anyway

  • 3
    Actually we have whole branches of mathematics and social sciences aiming at forecasting. As long as you have reliable data you can make a lot of extrapolation. So your (single) argument happens to be incorrect. If you do happen to find reliable "UFO sights on election days by opposition to any other regular day" data I'll even make you a nice scatterplot and table with several correlation coefficients.
    – armatita
    Oct 31, 2017 at 16:39
  • @armatita like these spurious correlations?
    – JJJ
    Jul 19, 2021 at 0:33

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