With all due congratulations to the winners in Election 2020, it's not an unusual sensation for many of us - at some points in life anyway - to wake up on Sunday morning with regrets.
Candidates, party leaders and supporters will be feeling all sorts of emotions today as the results of Election 2020 sink in. For those who missed out, regret may be one.
Dr Sarah Beck, a cognitive development expert from the School of Psychology at the University of Birmingham, has also noted it's not unheard of for voters to feel regret after voting.
Writing after the 2015 UK election, Beck pointed out a swag of new members signed up for the Liberal Democrats after the party was hammered at the polling booths. "These new party members may well be experiencing voter regret," Beck wrote, in a column for The Conversation.
A study by researchers immediately after the 2015 Canadian election asked voters which party they opted for, and whether they regretted their choice. It found more than a third, or 39 per cent, of respondents were not perfectly happy with their decision, and 4 per cent said they had made a bad decision.
Regrets are natural when people participate in an activity, wishing for an outcome but in reality having very little influence on the outcome. The very act of voting may lead to a feeling of more regret about the outcome of an election as people tend to feel more regret for outcomes they are personally involved in. Those who didn't vote can find it easier to just walk away.
It's not all bad, however, as shown in the surge of 8000 new UK members who signed up to the Liberal Democrats after the 2015 trouncing.
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As Beck noted: "For those people who are disappointed by the election outcome and are busy imagining alternative worlds they would far prefer, it's worth being optimistic that these emotions are guiding your future behaviour."
For those who missed out in Election 2020 last night, there may be come consolation in the possibility that voter regret is lingering in homes across New Zealand and support is rising as you read this.