Downs, Stokes and the Dynamics of Electoral Choice

Segnalazione bibliografica.

British Journal of Political Science (2011), 41: 287-314

Autori: David Sanders, Harold D. Clarke, Marianne C. Stewart, Paul Whiteley


A six-wave 2005–09 national panel survey conducted in conjunction with the British Election Study provided data for an investigation of sources of stability and change in voters’ party preferences. The authors test competing spatial and valence theories of party choice and investigate the hypothesis that spatial calculations provide cues for making valence judgements. Analyses reveal that valence mechanisms – heuristics based on party leader images, party performance evaluations and mutable partisan attachments – outperform a spatial model in terms of strength of direct effects on party choice. However, spatial effects still have sizeable indirect effects on the vote via their influence on valence judgements. The results of exogeneity tests bolster claims about the flow of influence from spatial calculations to valence judgments to electoral choice.

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