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Abstract

As political competition is becoming increasingly multi-dimensional in Europe, voters often face the challenge of choosing which issues matter most to them. The European integration issue presents a particular difficulty for voters, since it is not closely aligned to the left-right dimension. We test the impact of the EU issue in the first parliamentary election following the UK's divisive Brexit referendum. We argue that while the EU issue was salient to voters, EU issue voting was inhibited by the indistinct and ambiguous positions adopted by the two major parties. To examine this, we combine an analysis of British Election Study data from the 2017 General Election with a conjoint experiment that allows us to present voters with a range of choices on both dimensions. Our findings show that the EU dimension has the potential to become a cross-cutting dimension that rivals the left-right dimension in British electoral politics, but this crucially depends on party competition.

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... One of the few examples is the study by Hooghe and Marks (2009) which pointed out that the European Union was moving from a permissive consensus to a constraining dissensus, thus politicizing European integration both in national elections and referenda. Other more recent contributions explore the added impact of the debt crisis on the politicization of European integration Hutter et al. 2016;Schäfer and Gross 2020), pointing to an increased relevance of EU matters in the domestic electoral arena after the last recession (see, among others, De Vries and Hobolt 2016;Hobolt and Rodon 2020). ...
... In addition, as parties are responsive to shifts in public opinion (Adams et al., 2004;Gross and Schäfer 2020;Williams and Spoon 2015), the growing influence of the EU among citizens' concerns has been reflected in making the EU more salient (Hutter et al. 2016). Even mainstream parties, which have traditionally been reluctant to make the EU prominent in their political program, have been pushed to respond to a new scenario, in which the EU is a relevant dimension of party competition (Hobolt and Rodon 2020). Our paper also allows us to assess in which countries congruence between individual preferences and parties' discourse with regard to the EU is more important in determining the vote in national elections. ...
Article
Research has shown that voting in European elections is affected by domestic politics. However, in the last years, and particularly after the European debt crisis, also the EU has gained relevance and salience in national politics. In this paper we address the Europeanization of national elections and assess to what extent the characteristics of countries condition the intensity of EU issue voting. Using data from the European Election Studies and the Comparative Manifestos Project, our results demonstrate the importance of congruence between citizens' and parties’ positions on the EU for the individual vote on the national level and show how this varies across countries. We provide evidence that EU issue voting is more intense in countries with more political influence in the EU as well as in countries that are net contributors to EU funds.
... Additionally, existing studies of Brexit's impact on voters have been, until now, confined to Britain (e.g. Carreras, Irepoglu Carreras, & Bowler, 2019;Clarke, Goodwin, & Whiteley, 2017;Hobolt & Rodon, 2020). In this contribution, we address these voidstesting the positional economic thesis in Ireland and how voter perceptions of the economic impact of Brexit correlate with the vote. ...
... Reviewing the literature exploring the correlates of support for Brexit shows that sentiments concerning national identity, immigration, emotion, partisanship, and economic considerations were all important (e.g. Arnorrsson & Zoega, 2018;Carreras et al., 2019;Clarke et al., 2017;Hobolt & Rodon, 2020). The latter usually comes in the form of cost/benefit calculations, drawing heavily on the winners and losers theory of EU integration and globalisation (e.g. ...
Article
At face, Ireland's economy had staged a remarkable recovery by 2020 since the devastating impact of the Global Financial Crisis. The economy was the fastest growing in Europe, unemployment had reached record lows, and Ireland's debt was back to its lowest level since 2009. The traditional economic voting model assumes voters punish outgoing governments for poor economic performance by voting against them but rewards incumbents for a sound economy by voting for them. Nevertheless, Irish voters delivered a stunning rebuke to the Fine Gael government in 2020, registering an incumbent administration's sixth-worst performance since 1932, raising questions about the applicability of the economic vote. Using the 2020 Irish National Election Study, our contribution unpacks this apparent puzzle. We uncover that macroeconomic conditions were less rosy than at first sight, a pattern recognised by voters. We find the economic vote was alive and well, with voter economic perceptions, and their views on income redistribution (and taxes/spending) having a potent effect on the vote. Brexit, as an economic issue, however, was not influential in shaping the vote. The Fine Gael challenge, and the answer to the conundrum, was most voters perceived the economy was lackluster and the government was on the wrong side of economic policy preferences of most voters.
... Conjoint analysis is increasingly used to analyse preferences on multidimensional issues (Franchino and Segatti 2019;Gallego and Marx 2017;Hobolt and Rodon 2020). In general, respondents are asked to choose between different profiles representing, for example, different policy packages. ...
Article
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Against the backdrop of proposals to introduce a European unemployment insurance scheme, we study public support for such schemes by conducting a conjoint experiment on support for European unemployment insurance in 13 EU member states. We argue that European-level social policy initiatives and the underlying notions of solidarity cannot be reduced to a one-dimensional concept, but rather include various dimensions. Unemployment schemes vary in their generosity, the conditions for support, their impact on taxation, the extent to which they preclude permanent redistribution between countries, and the EU’s role in their administration. Generosity, conditions and taxation are ‘domestic’ dimensions, since they mainly resonate with domestic policy debates; between-country redistribution and administration are ‘cross-border’ dimensions, referring to relationships between countries. We expect economic ideology to interact predominantly with domestic dimensions and EU support to interact predominantly with cross-border dimensions. Findings confirm these expectations, with the exception of between-country redistribution and country-level conditionality.
... In Europe, however, scholars have long underscored the multidimensional nature of the political space -one that also incorporates social, cultural and value-based cleavages (Albright, 2010;Bornschier, 2010;Kriesi, 2010;Van Der Brug and Van Spanje, 2009). Despite being mostly congruent at the ideological level, Western European parties and their supporters can often find themselves at odds on policy issues that are poorly captured by the general leftright dimension, such as the question of European integration (De Vries and Marks, 2012;Thomassen, 2012), with deleterious consequences for traditional voter-party relationships (Hobolt and Rodon, 2020). ...
Article
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Research on the relationship between ideology and affective polarisation highlights ideological disagreement as a key driver of animosity between partisan groups. By operationalising disagreement on the left-right dimension, however, existing studies often overlook voter-party incongruence as a potential determinant of affective evaluations. How does incongruence on policy issues impact affective evaluations of mainstream political parties and their leaders? We tackle this question by analysing data from the British Election Study collected ahead of the 2019 UK General Election using an instrumental variable approach. Consistent with our expectations, we find that voter-party incongruence has a significant causal impact on affective evaluations. Perceived representational gaps between party and voter drive negative evaluations of the in-party and positive evaluations of the opposition, thus lowering affective polarisation overall. The results offer a more nuanced perspective on the role of ideological conflict in driving affective polarisation.
... As Mattila and Raunio (2012: 590) argue '(w)hether parties are in tune with their electorates over the EU is also significant in terms of how representative democracy works in Europe'. For instance, Bakker et al. (2020) show the effect of party-voter incongruence over the EU on political disaffection and populist voting, and Hobolt and Rodon (2020) show EU congruence effects on British voting behaviour in the aftermath of Brexit (both in this Special Issue). ...
Article
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National politicisation of European Union issues has risen following events such as the economic crisis and the refugee influx. This has led to changes at the party (rising Eurosceptic parties) and the voter level (increasing public Euroscepticism). EU politicisation is thus assumed to influence the overall distribution of EU positions in terms of EU polarisation. This raises the question to what extent there is a (mis)match between polarisation at the party and voter level, and its dependence on structural and supply-side dynamics. Using CHES 2017 data and survey data across four EU countries (Germany, Spain, Hungary and the Netherlands) this paper compares elite- and citizen-level EU polarisation. The results show a strong association of party- and citizen-level EU polarisation – for both general and policy-specific EU positions – with higher polarisation among citizens than among parties. Country-specific patterns are due to different political competition on the supply side.
... Here, we aim to gain understanding of the reasons behind the Brexit result. This is important for predicting post-Brexit policies in the UK and helping to ascertain whether other EU countries may decide to leave the EU (Hobolt and Rodon 2020). ...
Article
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We analyse the role of personality traits along with individuals’ cooperative behaviour, level of trust in the UK government and the European Council (EC, the body that defines the European Union’s overall political direction and priorities) and socio-demographics on UK citizens’ voting choices on the 2016 Brexit referendum. We use data from a survey conducted in April 2019 on 530 UK citizens who voted in the 2016 Brexit referendum. We use a Probit model to investigate what role voters’ personality traits, their trust in government institutions, their level of cooperative behaviour and socio-demographics played in the way they voted. We find voters’ choice was associated voters’ personality traits. In particular, voters associated with being extraverted, acting with self-confidence and outspokenness (i.e., agency), and voters’ closeness to experience, to forming part of a diverse community and the exchange of ideas and experiences were found to be associated with voting for Brexit in the 2016 referendum. We found that voters’ willingness to cooperate with others was associated with being less likely to vote for Brexit. In addition, voters who trusted the UK government were more likely to vote for Brexit, whereas voters trusting the EC were more likely to vote for the UK to stay in the EU. We also found that voters with relatively high level of education were less likely to vote for Brexit and voters not seeking jobs were more likely to vote for Brexit than students, unemployed and retired. We conclude that incorporating personality profiles of voters, their pro-social behaviour as well as their views on trust in politicians/government institutions, along with socio-demographic variables, into individuals’ vote choice analysis can account for voter heterogeneity and provide a more complete picture of an individual’s vote choice decisions, helping to gain a better understanding of individual vote choices (e.g., better predictions of future individual vote intentions).
... However, in many modern societies, a second aspect of political competition may structure party and voter decision-making logic. Even unidimensional contexts can become multidimensional because of parties' strategic decisions (Hobolt, Leeper & Tilley 2020;Hobolt & Rodon 2020). When it comes to affective polarisation, this bi-dimensionality means that groups of individuals may dislike/distrust each other on the basis of partisan ideological differences (first dimension), but also along another dimension of competition (second dimension). ...
... Instead, the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbin, took a more ambiguous position on the "leave/remain" dimension, suffering from divisions among its MPs and constituents (Hobolt and Rodon 2020), deflecting party commitments on this issue. Labour tried to build-up an anti-austerity radical-left platform to win more votes, depoliticising the EU-related issues, though gradually moving towards the Eurosceptic pole of contestation. ...
Book
This book analyses emerging trends in the politicisation of EU conflicts in Western Europe between 2006 and 2019, evaluating the transformative effects arising from multiple crises – the Euro crisis, the migration crisis and the Brexit Referendum. It describes how EU issues have been increasingly emphasised and polarised by various political parties – both the mainstream pro-EU and anti-EU protest parties – and have been transformed into more meaningful determinants of voting. The respective chapters investigate the fluctuations in EU issue entrepreneurship and EU issue voting, identifying which party types have been more likely to benefit from their EU issue proximity to voters, and assessing the growing politicisation of the EU conflict in both South European and North-Western countries.
... Instead, the Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbin, took a more ambiguous position on the "leave/remain" dimension, suffering from divisions among its MPs and constituents (Hobolt and Rodon 2020), deflecting party commitments on this issue. Labour tried to build-up an anti-austerity radical-left platform to win more votes, depoliticising the EU-related issues, though gradually moving towards the Eurosceptic pole of contestation. ...
Chapter
The introduction outlines the fundamental theoretical framework for the five central chapters of the book. It provides an historical overview of the impact of European integration on national politics, presenting the research question and hypotheses addressed by this work. It aims at identifying the potential catalyst effects triggered by the multiple set of crises, which may have brought the EU issues to centre stage, distinguishing between intervened and non-intervened countries in Western Europe. The introduction also presents the notion of conflict politicisation, underlining the necessary link between party strategies and voting preferences. Finally, it posits the growing importance of an autonomous pro-/anti-EU dimension in Western Europe, summing up the main content and objectives of each chapter.
Article
This article examines the 2019 European Parliament election in the UK. The main beneficiaries were the newly formed Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats, both of which ran on clear Brexit platforms, while the Conservatives and Labour struggled to attract support. But the Brexit focus of the campaign – and the victory of parties with clear positions on these issues – belied the extent to which the election conformed to the expectations of second-order contest theory, with low turnout, declining support for the governing (Conservative) party, a surge in support for new and small parties, and scant discussion of European Union-level issues. While the vote shows realignment in the UK continues and can tell us much about the shifting politics of Brexit, we should be cautious inferring much from the victory of the Brexit Party and the Liberal Democrats given the second-order nature of the contest.
Article
The dramatic decline in vote shares on the mainstream left in many recent elections has led to a renewed discussion about a crisis of Social Democracy. One popular argument is that Social Democratic decline is the result of these parties' liberal cultural positions and pro-EU stance, with both topics increasingly salient for their traditional voters, particularly among the working class. However, we lack comparative evidence testing this argument. In this paper, we combine CHES data on party positions with ESS survey data to analyze the electoral effects of Social Democratic parties' second dimension and EU positions. In addition, we focus on whether support from different socio-economic groups is sensitive to these positions. In contrast to much public debate, we find that more authoritarian/nationalist and more anti-EU positions are if anything associated with lower rather than greater electoral support for social democratic parties.
Article
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A well-functioning democracy requires a degree of mutual respect and a willingness to talk across political divides. Yet numerous studies have shown that many electorates are polarized along partisan lines, with animosity towards the partisan out-group. In this article, we further develop the idea of affective polarization, not by partisanship, but instead by identification with opinion-based groups. Examining social identities formed during Britain’s 2016 referendum on European Union membership, we use surveys and experiments to measure the intensity of partisan and Brexit-related affective polarization. The results show that Brexit identities are prevalent, felt to be personally important, and cut across traditional party lines. These identities generate affective polarization as intense as that of partisanship in terms of stereotyping, prejudice, and various evaluative biases, convincingly demonstrating that affective polarization can emerge from identities beyond partisanship.
Chapter
Identifying and describing attitudes to immigration , let alone explaining them and their effects, is not a simple matter. In this chapter, we first outline the major scholarly works explaining attitudes to immigration. We identify six broad theoretical categories: economic interests, socialisation, psychological explanations, cueing, contact and context, and finally 'attitudinal embeddedness'. For each of these we present the key findings and consider the strengths and shortcomings of the literature, where applicable. We also sketch out existing research on the politics of immigration and the effects of attitudes to immigration on democratic politics, which we categorise as research on policy responsiveness, effects on party family support (notably the radical right), party competition, and polarisation. We end by considering future avenues for research.
Chapter
This chapter identifies the fluctuations in EU issue entrepreneurship between 2006 and 2017 in Western Europe, empirically ascertaining H1 (Protest Entrepreneurship Hypothesis) and H2 (Mainstream Entrepreneurship Hypothesis). It reports the aggregate findings on the degree of EU issue entrepreneurship for each of the two main party types under study—the mainstream and protest parties. The chapter also delves into the entrepreneurship variations occurring in the different country clusters—Southern Europe and North-Western Europe—allowing for controlling the intervened/non-intervened distinction. The objective is to assess whether party entrepreneurship has interacted with a multiple set of crisis outcomes. By observing the entrepreneurship variation, this chapter supports H1 and rejects H2, corroborating a systemic entrepreneurship scenario. This pattern signals the growing EU politicisation in the Western European party systems, which has become a common feature of both intervened and non-intervened countries.
Article
Mass emails are frequently used by advocacy groups to mobilise supporters to lobby legislators. But how effective are they at inducing constituent-to-legislator lobbying when the stakes are high? We test the eefficacy of a large-scale email campaign conducted by the UK's main anti-Brexit organisation. In 2019, the group prominently displayed a \Write to your MP" tool on their website, and assigned 119,362 supporters represented by legislators with incongruent views to one of four email messages encouraging them to write to their MP or a control condition (no email). Messages varied across two factors: whether the MP's incongruent position was highlighted, and if urgency was emphasised. We nd that 3.4% of treatment subjects contacted their representative, compared to 0.1% of those in the control, representing an additional 3,344 emails sent to MPs. We show that there was no substitution away from the most frequently used online legislator contact platform in the UK. While, on average, position and urgency cues had no marginal effect above the standard email, the most engaged supporters were more mobilised when informed that their MP held incongruent views. This study shows that advocacy groups can use low-cost communication techniques to mobilise supporters to lobby representatives when the stakes are high.
Article
To what extent do representational gaps between parties and voters destabilise party systems and create electoral opportunities for anti-establishment parties on the left and right? In this paper, we use multiple measures of party-partisan incongruence to evaluate whether issue-level incongruence contributes to an increase of political disaffection and anti-establishment politics. For this analysis, we use data from the Chapel Hill Expert Survey (CHES) for party positions and public opinion data from the European Election Study (EES). Our findings indicate that multidimensional incongruence is associated with disaffection at the national and European level, and that disaffected mainstream party voters are in turn more likely to consider voting for anti-establishment challenger parties. This finding suggests that perceived gaps in party-citizen substantive representation have important electoral ramifications across European democracies.
Article
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The outcome of the British referendum on EU membership sent shockwaves through Europe. While Britain is an outlier when it comes to the strength of Euroscepticism, the anti-immigration and anti-establishment sentiments that produced the referendum outcome are gaining strength across Europe. Analysing campaign and survey data, this article shows that the divide between winners and losers of globalization was a key driver of the vote. Favouring British EU exit, or ‘Brexit’, was particularly common among less educated, poorer and older voters, and those who expressed concerns about immigration and multi-culturalism. While there is no evidence of a short-term contagion effect with similar membership referendums in other countries, the Brexit vote nonetheless poses a serious challenge to the political establishment across Europe.
Chapter
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That citizens of European Union countries differ in their attitudes regarding Europe is a commonplace of political commentary. Some favor their country’s membership in the EU, others oppose it. Some, while thinking that membership is generally a good thing, feel that steps toward unification have gone far enough – or even too far. Others believe that further steps should be taken.Citizens of EU countries also differ in terms of more traditional political orientations – attitudes to the proper role of government in society, welfare provision, and other matters which have increasingly over the past half-century come to be subsumed within a single orientation towards government action, generally referred to as the left/right orientation (Lipset 1960; Lijphart 1980; Franklin, Mackie, Valen, et al., 1992).These two orientations are often assumed to be orthogonal, with the newer pro-/anti-EU orientation cutting across the more traditional left/right orientation (see, e.g., Hicks and Lord 1998; Hooghe and Marks 1999). Our own research (van der Eijk and Franklin 1996; van der Eijk, Franklin, and van der Brug 1999; van der Brug, Franklin, and van der Eijk 2000) demonstrates that EU orientation does not currently have much impact on party choice at EU elections. Elections to the European Parliament have been described as “second-order national” elections at which the arena supposedly at issue (the European arena) takes second place to the national arena as a focus for issue and representational concerns (Reif and Schmitt 1980; Reif 1984, 1985; Marsh and Franklin 1996); and the national arena is quintessentially one in which left/right orientations dominate.
Article
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This study examines the extent to which opposition parties engage in wedge-issue competition. The literature on wedge-issue competition has exclusively focused on the two-party system in the United States, arguing that wedge issues are the domain of opposition parties. This study argues that within multiparty systems opposition status is a necessary but not sufficient condition for wedge-issue competition. Since parties within multiparty systems compete in the wake of past and dawn of future coalition negotiations, parties that are regularly part of a coalition are not likely to exploit wedge issues as it could potentially jeopardize relationships with future coalition partners. Conversely, it is less risky for parties that have never been part of a government coalition to mobilize wedge issues. These theoretical propositions are empirically substantiated by examining the attention given to the European integration issue between 1984 and 2010 within 14 Western European countries, utilizing pooled time-series regressions
Article
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Governing parties generally win fewer votes at European Parliament elections than at national electionsmost common explanation for this is that European elections are ‘second order national elections’ acting as mid-term referendums on government performance. This article proposes an alternative, though complementary, explanation: voters defect because governing parties are generally far more pro-European than the typical voter. Additionally, the more the campaign context primes Eurosceptic sentiments, the more likely voters are to turn against governing parties. A multi-level model is used to test these propositions and analyse the effects of individual and contextual factors at the 1999 and 2004 European Parliament elections. Both European and domestic concerns matter to voters; moreover, campaign context plays an important role in shaping vote choices.
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Citizens can face a difficult electoral decision when no party even broadly represents their views. In Western Europe, this applies to those citizens with left-wing preferences on economic issues and traditional/authoritarian preferences on socio-cultural issues. There are many voters with such ‘left-authoritarian’ views, but few parties. Hence, the former often have to choose between parties that only match their views on one of these two ideological dimensions. This study shows that whether these citizens privilege economic or socio-cultural congruence in their electoral preferences depends on the issues they are concerned about. In general, it is found that left-authoritarians privilege economic concerns and therefore prefer parties that are left-liberal. These findings have implications for our general understanding of electoral choice and of changing patterns of political competition in Western Europe.
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Survey experiments are a core tool for causal inference. Yet, the design of classical survey experiments prevents them from identifying which components of a multidimensional treatment are influential. Here, we show how conjoint analysis, an experimental design yet to be widely applied in political science, enables researchers to estimate the causal effects of multiple treatment components and assess several causal hypotheses simultaneously. In conjoint analysis, respondents score a set of alternatives, where each has randomly varied attributes. Here, we undertake a formal identification analysis to integrate conjoint analysis with the potential outcomes framework for causal inference. We propose a new causal estimand and show that it can be nonparametrically identified and easily estimated from conjoint data using a fully randomized design. We then demonstrate the value of these techniques through empirical applications to voter decision-making and attitudes toward immigrants.
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Party-driven and voter-driven models of EU attitude change are compared using British survey data over 20 years. The dealignment of EU attitudes from the left–right politics dimension and growing magnitude of the effect of EU attitudes on Labour vs Conservative voting is consistent with an increasingly voter-driven process as the EU became more salient in the 1990s. The balance of influence would appear to have shifted from party-driven to voter-driven during the period under observation, though this probably results from the actions of the parties as well as external political events. The effective reversal of the position of the main parties during the 1980s followed by a period of intra-party division helped provide the conditions under which voter preferences on the EU were less constrained by elite signals.
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How is contestation on European integration structured among national political parties? Are issues arising from European integration assimilated into existing dimensions of domestic contestation? We show that there is a strong relationship between the conventional left/right dimension and party positioning on European integration. However, the most powerful source of variation in party support is the new politics dimension, ranging from Green/alternative/libertarian to Traditional/authoritarian/nationalist.
Article
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This article uses the British Election Panel Study to assess the impact of voters' and party positions vis-à-vis European integration on Conservative electoral support between 1992 and 1996. Over this period levels of public support for European integration declined markedly, so that by 1996 the Conservative party was even closer to aggregate public opinion, when compared with its main competitors, than it had been at the time of the 1992 election. However, an analysis of the proximity between individuals' positions on integration and the positions they then attributed to the parties indicates that Conservative divisions over Europe helped turn this potential electoral asset into a liability, leaving the party further from individual voters' own positions than were either of the other two main political contenders. Moreover, as issue proximity on integration predicts voting even when past vote and proximity on other issues are controlled for, it is likely that the European question will have resulted in electoral costs rather than the benefits it could have produced. One implication of these findings is that if the Conservatives hope to do well on this issue they will need to adopt a consistent Eurosceptic line, but such a strategy is unlikely to be easily maintained.
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Kriesi et al. announced the birth of a new cleavage in contemporary Western Europe, one dividing the winners and losers of globalisation. Their studies in 2006 and 2008 contain analyses of party positions in six countries, based on the contents of editorial sections of newspapers. This article challenges the main conclusion of Kriesi et al. by demonstrating − on the basis of two expert surveys − that party positions are mainly structured by one dimension. The structure detected by Kriesi et al. in their analysis of parties is not found, except concerning voter positions. A consequence of this article's findings is that large groups of citizens are not represented by any parties, in particular those who are left-wing on socio-economic issues and right-wing on cultural issues. The article in its conclusion discusses possible causes for the differences between these findings and those of Kriesi et al., and the implications of these findings for democratic representation.
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Ordered rating scales are one of the most frequently used question formats in large-scale surveys. Analysts of the responses to such questions often find themselves in need of describing the degree of agreement (concentration, consensus) of the answers to such questions. For that purpose they commonly use standard deviations of the response distributions, or measures based on these (such as the coefficient of consensus defined by Granberg and Holmberg, 1988), or the coefficient of variability, etc. This paper demonstrates that such measures are inappropriate for this purpose because they misrepresent what they are supposed to measure: the `peakedness' of a distribution. As an alternative a measure of agreement A is proposed. This measure is a weighted average of the degree of agreement that exists in the simple component parts – layers – into which any frequency distribution can be disaggregated, and for which agreement can be expressed in a straightforward and unequivocal way.
Article
Conjoint analysis is a common tool for studying political preferences. The method disentangles patterns in respondents’ favorability toward complex, multidimensional objects, such as candidates or policies. Most conjoints rely upon a fully randomized design to generate average marginal component effects (AMCEs). They measure the degree to which a given value of a conjoint profile feature increases, or decreases, respondents’ support for the overall profile relative to a baseline, averaging across all respondents and other features. While the AMCE has a clear causal interpretation (about the effect of features), most published conjoint analyses also use AMCEs to describe levels of favorability. This often means comparing AMCEs among respondent subgroups. We show that using conditional AMCEs to describe the degree of subgroup agreement can be misleading as regression interactions are sensitive to the reference category used in the analysis. This leads to inferences about subgroup differences in preferences that have arbitrary sign, size, and significance. We demonstrate the problem using examples drawn from published articles and provide suggestions for improved reporting and interpretation using marginal means and an omnibus F-test. Given the accelerating use of these designs in political science, we offer advice for best practice in analysis and presentation of results.
Article
The 2017 UK General Election saw the collapse of UKIP and an unusually influential campaign that saw Labour improving from a likely historic defeat to almost pulling level with the Conservatives, denying Theresa May a parliamentary majority. We argue that the election should be understood in two phases: first from 2015 to the start of the election campaign, and second the campaign itself. The former period was characterised by strong switching along Brexit lines, with 2015 UKIP voters defecting heavily to the Conservatives following the outcome of the EU Referendum, which had enabled the Conservatives to make credible promises on immigration. Concurrently, many 2015 Labour supporters had defected to other parties or were undecided. The campaign then saw Labour winning voters from all sources, but particularly from previously undecided voters. While campaign vote flows were not as strongly related to Leave/Remain votes, 2015–2017 switching as a whole was heavily influenced by the EU referendum choices. We conclude that 2017 was indeed a ‘Brexit election’, but the campaign is better understood as a general rise in support for Labour resulting from Corbyn’s appeal relative to that of Theresa May, particularly among the party’s own 2015 voters who had defected before the campaign. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society; all rights reserved.
Article
Scholars of representation are increasingly interested in mass–elite congruence—the degree to which the preferences of elected elites mirror those of voters. Yet existing measures of congruence can be misleading because they ignore information in the data, require arbitrary decisions about quantization, and limit researchers to comparing masses and elites on a single dimension. We introduce a new measure of congruence—borrowed from computer science—that addresses all of these problems: the Earth Mover’s Distance (EMD). We demonstrate its conceptual advantages and apply it to two debates in research on mass–elite congruence: ideological congruence in majoritarian and proportional systems and the determinants of congruence across countries in Latin America. We find that improving measurement using the EMD has important implications for inferences regarding both empirical debates. Even beyond studies of congruence, the EMD is a useful and reliable way for political scientists to compare distributions.
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The book proposes a unifying conception which shows that the differences between 'majoritarian', 'consensus' and other forms of representative democracy are superficial compared to what unites them. The common element is the empowerment of the median voter by making the party (s)he votes for the median party in the legislature. Comparative evidene covering 21 democracies from 1950-1995 is assembled to check out the descriptive credentials of this idea, in contrast to the government mandate which forms the normal description and justification of democracy as providing 'a necessary link between popular preferences and public policy'. Although, spontaneous majorities rarely emerge, median voter - median party correspondences do (72% of all governments, 82% under PR). Policy correspondence, distortion, long term bias, and responsiveness are examined in both static and dynamic terms. They reveal that underneath short-term fluctuations, the long-term equilibrium positions of governments and median voters map each other closely. Many other questions about democracy are also raised and investigated - economic and retrospective voting (' kicking the rascals out'): policy incrementalism, etc. - giving the book an appeal to different groups of specialists in political science. The comparative data on voting, on electoral party and government preferences, and on actual policy outputs are unsurpassed with regards to comprehensiveness over nations and time.
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This article starts from the assumption that the current process of globalization or denationalization leads to the formation of a new structural conflict in Western European countries, opposing those who benefit from this process against those who tend to lose in the course of the events. The structural opposition between globalization 'winners' and 'losers' is expected to constitute potentials for political mobilization within national political contexts, the mobilization of which is expected to give rise to two intimately related dynamics: the transformation of the basic structure of the national political space and the strategic repositioning of the political parties within the transforming space. The article presents several hypotheses with regard to these two dynamics and tests them empirically on the basis of new data concerning the supply side of electoral politics from six Western European countries (Austria, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland). The results indicate that in all the countries, the new cleavage has become embedded into existing two-dimensional national political spaces, that the meaning of the original dimensions has been transformed, and that the configuration of the main parties has become triangular even in a country like France.
Book
1. Studying economic voting 2. Party choice as a two-stage process 3. Hypotheses and data: the theoretical and empirical setting 4. Effects of the economy on party support 5. The economic voter 6. From individual preferences to election outcomes 7. The economy, party competition, and the vote.
Article
How do issues enter the political arena and come to affect party competition? This study extends the literature on issue evolution from the U.S. context to multiparty systems. While traditional models assume opposition parties to be the agents of issue evolution, this study argues that within multiparty competition not all parties in opposition have an incentive to change the issue basis of political competition. The central propositions of our issue entrepreneurship model are twofold: First, political parties are more likely to become issue entrepreneurs when they are losers on the dominant dimension of contestation. We focus on three components of political loss in multiparty systems relating to the office-seeking, voting-seeking, and policy-seeking objectives of parties. Second, parties will choose which issue to promote on the basis of their internal cohesion and proximity to the mean voter on that same issue. We test these propositions by examining the evolution of the issue of European integration in 14 European party systems from 1984 to 2006. The time-series cross-sectional analyses lend strong support to our model.
Article
The left-right ideological positions of political parties play a central role in theorizing about many different aspects of democratic processes. Unfortunately, scholars are hindered in their ability to test existing theories by the limited availability of data that is comparable over time and across countries. This paper describes a simple 'vanilla' method for using manifestos data to estimate party left-right positions. It then tests this method and four existing ones by regressing a variety of accepted survey-based measures of left-right party positions on the estimates of party positions generated by the various techniques. Finally, analysis of the residuals from these regressions identifies the extent to which there are systematic sources of errors in using manifestos data to estimate party left-right positions. The vanilla method consistently produces the best estimates of party positions, and these estimates are quite good (less than one point, on average, from the estimates of other accepted approaches). Manifestos data, however, tend to locate extreme parties closer to the ideological center than do other survey-based approaches.
Article
Voters behave differently in European Parliament (EP) elections compared to national elections because less is at stake in these ‘second‐order’ elections. While this explains the primary characteristic of EP elections, it has often led to a conflation of distinct motivations for changing behaviour – namely sincere and protest voting. By distinguishing these motivations, this article addresses the question of when and why voters alter their behaviour in EP elections. In addition, it argues that the degree of politicisation of the EU in the domestic debate shapes the extent to which voters rely on EU, rather than national, considerations. These propositions are tested in a multilevel analysis in 27 countries in the 2009 EP elections. The findings have important implications for understanding why voters change their behaviour between different types of elections.
Article
Scholars have developed a large body of knowledge on the domestic underpinnings and effects of European integration. Students of the European Union (EU) have devoted considerable attention to the sources of citizen and party support for EU membership. This attention would suggest the presence of a dynamic process in which parties compete for votes by adopting stances on the EU, and citizens vote on the European issue. Evidence from the three new member states—Austria, Finland, and Sweden—shows that citizen attitudes about the EU affected vote choice in national elections in all three states before and after accession. This finding suggests the existence of an electoral dynamic between voters and parties over European integration, with mass publics having an important role in constraining future efforts at integration. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Article
Science involves the accumulation of knowledge, which means not only the formulation of new sentences about discoveries but also the reformulation of empirically falsified or theoretically discredited old sentences. Science has therefore a history that is mainly a chronicle and interpretation of a series of reformulations. It is often asserted that political science has no history. Although this assertion is perhaps motivated by a desire to identify politics with belles lettres, it may also have a reasonable foundation, in that political institutions may change faster than knowledge can be accumulated. To investigate whether propositions about evanescent institutions can be scientifically falsified and reformulated, I examine in this essay the history of the recent and not wholly accepted revisions of the propositions collectively called Duverger's law: that the plurality rule for selecting the winner of elections favors the two-party system. The body of the essay presents the discovery, revision, testing, and reformulation of sentences in this series in order to demonstrate that in at least one instance in political science, knowledge has been accumulated and a history exists.
Article
Do attitudes towards European integration influence vote choice in national elections — a phenomenon I refer to as European Union (EU) issue voting? Evidence concerning EU issue voting is thus far mixed. Some scholars conclude that an electoral connection exists between European and national politics, whereas others claim that European integration has had very few observable effects on national elections. A resolution emerges when the conditional nature of EU issue voting is acknowledged. Specifically, EU issue voting is more likely to occur in elections in which both the extent of partisan conflict over European integration and the degree of EU issue salience among voters are high. Using a conditional logit model, I illustrate the conditional nature of EU issue voting by comparing UK, Danish, Dutch and German elections between 1992 and 2002.
Article
This article revisits the age-old debate about elite—mass linkages in the European Union (EU) by examining the way in which political contexts shape individual differentiation in Euroscepticism. We argue that the growing uncertainties about the future of European integration among national publics are increasingly politicized by Eurosceptical elites on both the extreme right and left of the political spectrum. To analyse the cueing effects of these extremist parties, we employ a two-level hierarchical linear model which combines individual-level and contextual data. We show that Eurosceptic cues are, indeed, found on both extremes, but for different reasons. Whereas right-wing extremist parties oppose European integration with the defence of `national sovereignty' and successfully mobilize national identity considerations against the EU, left-wing extremist parties resist further integration in Europe on the basis of the neoliberal character of the project and effectively cue voters against the EU on the basis of economic insecurity arguments.
Article
Recent research has shown the rise of domestic contention over European integration. This paper examines the extent to which preferences over European integration influence domestic party support in 19 European Union (EU) member states in West and East-Central Europe (ECE). The analysis finds broad evidence of EU issue voting across the countries included in the analysis, but the effect of the EU issue on party preferences is stronger in ECE. These results are consistent with the view that the same underlying causal dynamics explain party and voter behavior in both West and ECE, but the post-communist legacy shapes the political and economic contexts in the ECE states, resulting in predictable differences between the two regions.
Article
In the standard Downsian model, voters are assumed to choose parties based on the extent of ideological proximity between the voter's own position and that of the party. Yet it is also well known that there are rationalization and projection effects such that voters tend to misestimate the policy platforms of candidates or parties to which they are sympathetic by overstating the correspondence between those positions and the voter's own preferences (see, e.g., Markus & Converse 1979; Granberg & Brent 1980; Granberg & Holmberg 1988; Merrill & Grofman 1999). Here we follow insights in the psychological literature on persuasion (Sherif & Hovland 1961; Parducci & Marshall 1962) by distinguishing between assimilation and contrast effects. Assimilation refers to shortening the perceived ideological distance between oneself and parties one favors; contrast refers to exaggerating the distance to parties for which one does not intend to vote. Using survey data on voter self–placements and party placements on ideological scales for the seven major Norwegian parties, five major French parties, and two major American parties we show that both assimilation and contrast effects are present in each country to a considerable degree.We also investigate the possible effects of randomness in party placement and scale interpretation – effects that can easily be confounded with assimilation but not so easily with contrast.
Article
  This article starts from the assumption that the current process of globalization or denationalization leads to the formation of a new structural conflict in Western European countries, opposing those who benefit from this process against those who tend to lose in the course of the events. The structural opposition between globalization ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ is expected to constitute potentials for political mobilization within national political contexts, the mobilization of which is expected to give rise to two intimately related dynamics: the transformation of the basic structure of the national political space and the strategic repositioning of the political parties within the transforming space. The article presents several hypotheses with regard to these two dynamics and tests them empirically on the basis of new data concerning the supply side of electoral politics from six Western European countries (Austria, Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland). The results indicate that in all the countries, the new cleavage has become embedded into existing two-dimensional national political spaces, that the meaning of the original dimensions has been transformed, and that the configuration of the main parties has become triangular even in a country like France.
Book
Over the past three decades the effects of globalization and denationalization have created a division between ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ in Western Europe. This study examines the transformation of party political systems in six countries (Austria, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the UK) using opinion surveys, as well as newly collected data on election campaigns. The authors argue that, as a result of structural transformations and the strategic repositioning of political parties, Europe has observed the emergence of a tripolar configuration of political power, comprising the left, the moderate right, and the new populist right. They suggest that, through an emphasis on cultural issues such as mass immigration and resistance to European integration, the traditional focus of political debate - the economy - has been downplayed or reinterpreted in terms of this new political cleavage. This new analysis of Western European politics will interest all students of European politics and political sociology.
EU issue salience and domestic party competition
  • C De Vries
  • M Van De Wardt
De Vries, C. and Van de Wardt, M. (2011) 'EU issue salience and domestic party competition', Issue Salience in International Politics 91: 173.
Cleavages, conflict resolution and democracy
  • C Van Der Eijk
  • M Franklin
  • T Mackie
  • H Valen
Van der Eijk, C., Franklin, M., Mackie, T. and Valen, H. (1992) 'Cleavages, conflict resolution and democracy', in M. Franklin, T. T. Mackie and H. Valen (eds.), Electoral Change: Responses to Evolving Social and Attitudinal Structures in Western Countries, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 406-31.
The emotional legacy of Brexit: how Britain has become a country of ‘Remainers’ and ‘Leavers”, The UK in a changing Europe
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British election study internet panel wave 9
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Fieldhouse, E., Green, J., Evans, G., Schmitt, H., van der Eijk, C., Mellon, J. and Prosser, C. (2015) 'British election study internet panel wave 9', available at https://www. britishelectionstudy.com/data-object/wave-9-ofthe-2014-2017-british-electionstudy-internet-panel-2016-eu-referendum-study-post-election-survey/
The emotional legacy of Brexit: how Britain has become a country of 'Remainers' and 'Leavers
  • J Curtice
Curtice, J. (2017) 'The emotional legacy of Brexit: how Britain has become a country of 'Remainers' and 'Leavers", The UK in a changing Europe. What UK Thinks: EU.
  • G Evans
  • A Menon
Evans, G. and Menon, A. (2017) Brexit and British Politics, Cambridge: Wiley.