Valence as macro-competence: an analysis of mood in party competence evaluations in Great Britain

Green, Jane and Jennings, Will (2012) Valence as macro-competence: an analysis of mood in party competence evaluations in Great Britain. British Journal of Political Science, 42, (2), 311-343. (doi:10.1017/S0007123411000330).


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There is a discernable mood in macro-level public evaluations of party issue competence. This paper argues that voters use heuristics to transfer issue competence ratings of parties between issues, therefore issue competence ratings move in common. Events, economic shocks and the costs of governing reinforce these shared dynamics. These expectations are analysed using issue competence data in Britain 1950–2008, and using Stimson's dyad ratios algorithm to estimate ‘macro-competence’. Effects on macro-competence are found for events and economic shocks, time in government, leader ratings, economic evaluations and partisanship, but macro-competence also accounts for unique variance in a model of party choice. The article presents an aggregate-level time-series measure to capture the long-term dynamics of ‘valence’.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1017/S0007123411000330
ISSNs: 0007-1234 (print)
1469-2112 (electronic)
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Divisions : Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations
ePrint ID: 336591
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
April 2012Published
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2012 10:14
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2016 08:26
The Politics of Competence: Longitudinal and Comparative Analysis
Funded by: ESRC Research Grant (RES-000-22-4616)

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