Issue Voting in Comparative Perspective

The present report joins together various research papers prepared for the 7th workpackage "Party Competition and Vote Choice Models: A Comparative Approach" in the ELECDEM project. This report contains work carried out in order to offer an accurate comparison of various spatial issue voting theories that is both methodically sound and substantively relevant as it focuses on understanding first party choices. Secondly, as contained in the workpackage description, it analyzes the success or failure of these theories depending on contextual factors, namely party-system polarization. Furthermore, the present research also asks a fundamental question that is necessary for these comparisons: how well ideological self-placement - the all too often single basis of comparative spatial voting analysis - relates to various policy preferences expressed by voters?  In doing so, we focus on attitude constraint employing analysis on various levels. First, we use a new method - relational class analysis - to map whether and how much structure there is in the policy networks of European citizens. Next, we turn to linking attitude constraint to potential public opinion polarization, and investigate how this phenomenon is associated with the supply side offering by political parties. The three research papers thus discuss both comparisons of spatial issue voting theories and the characteristics of policy preferences in a comparative manner focusing on 27 European countries.

Download the full report: ELECDEM_WP07_Zoltan Fazekas_ESR Final Report (PDF 6,479KB)

Further details of workpackage 7.

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