In most multi-candidate, plurality rule elections, voters often have to consider whether or not to vote strategically; defecting from a most preferred, but non-viable candidate in order to reduce the chances that an even less-preferred candidate would be elected. What makes the 1994 Taipei election interesting is that the non-viable candidates could not be easily identified, which created an opportunity for party elites to manipulate voters' decisions by sending signals to influence their perceptions of the candidates' viability. Our analysis has two important results. First, voters discounted strategic considerations in their vote calculations early in the campaign, especially when there was considerable doubt, among both voters and party elites, over which candidate was unlikely to win the election. Second, once the election became more proximate and information about candidate viability was more likely to accurately reflect the outcome of the election, voters used signals from party elites and placed greater weight on strategic considerations. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science Ltd.