The dynamics of issue competence and vote for parties in and out of power: an analysis of valence in Britain, 1979–1997


Green, Jane and Jennings, Will (2012) The dynamics of issue competence and vote for parties in and out of power: an analysis of valence in Britain, 1979–1997. European Journal of Political Research, 41, (4), 469-503. (doi:10.1111/j.1475-6765.2011.02004.x).

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Description/Abstract

This article develops the reward-punishment issue model of voting using a newly collated aggregate measure of issue competence in Britain between 1971 and 1997, revealing systematic differences between governing and opposition parties in the way citizens’ evaluations of party competence are related to vote intention. Using monthly Gallup ‘best party to handle the most important problem’ and vote intention data, time series Grangercausation tests give support to a classic issue reward-punishment model for incumbents. However, for opposition parties this reward-punishment model does not hold: macro-issue competence evaluations are Granger-caused by changes in vote choice or governing party competence. An explanation is offered based upon the differentiating role of policy performance and informational asymmetries, and the implications are considered for comparative studies of voting, public opinion and for political party competition.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0304-4130 (print)
1475-6765 (electronic)
Keywords: valence, competence, incumbents, oppositions, vote choice
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Human Sciences > Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations
ePrint ID: 336593
Date Deposited: 30 Mar 2012 10:25
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2014 20:20
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/336593

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