Many accounts of democratization in Africa from the early 1990s were infused with optimism at the outbreak of competitive elections in country after country across the continent. Yet, history has shown that African opposition parties rarely succeed in removing incumbents from office by winning elections. This paper analyzes data from two unique data collection exercises conducted in Ghana as pre- and post-election surveys surrounding the decisive December 2008 election in which NDC came back to power after eight years as the main opposition party. We find that the voters who decided the 2008 elections are more instruments of democracy and provide more rewards to politicians who perform well on constituency development and representation, than to those who act decisively as patrons trying to buy votes.
London, UK, Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP), 21 pp.