[en] We have studied the three-component liquid crystal mixture reported to exhibit ‘thresholdless antiferroelectricity’ [Inui et al., J. Mater. Chem, 1996, 6, 671]. We find that the thresholdless or V-shaped switching is obtained in thf absence of antiferroelectricity. This analog electro-optic response is due to the field-induced switching of a twisted smectic C* structure stabilized by polar surface interactions and by electrostatic bulk polarization charge interactions. The latter confine the director twist to thin surface regions leaving the bulk of the cell uniform, which gives good extinction at zero field. In sufficiently thin cells, such thresholdless switching can in fact be followed down to much lower temperatures, where the bulk would be antiferroelectric, but is maintained in the cells in the ferroelectric state by hysteresis from surface action.