We propose a theory of strategic voting in multi-winner elections with approval balloting. With a tiny probability that any vote might be misrecorded, best responses involve voting by pairwise comparisons. Two candidates play a critical role: the weakest expected winner and the strongest expected loser. Expected winners are approved if and only if they are preferred to the strongest expected loser and expected losers are approved if and only if they are preferred to the weakest expected winner. At equilibrium, if any, a candidate is elected if and only if he is approved by at least half of the voters. With single-peaked preferences, an equilibrium always exists, in which the first candidates according to the majority tournament relation are elected. The theory is applied to individual data from the 2011 Regional Government election in Zurich.
Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 47, n. 3, October 2016, pp. 559–587