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Political parties and the timeline of elections

Political parties and the timeline of elections
Political parties and the timeline of elections
Scholars are beginning to understand the evolution of electoral sentiment across countries. Recent research shows that early vote intention polls – from years before Election Day – contain substantial information about the final result but that they become increasingly informative over the election cycle. The degree to which this is true varies across countries in important and understandable ways given differences in political institutions, but the pattern is strikingly general. What we do not know is whether and how the characteristics of political parties matter. Do preferences evolve differently for niche and catch-all parties? For government and opposition parties? For new and old parties? This paper addresses these issues. We consider differences in political parties and how they might impact voter preferences over the course of the election cycle. We then outline an empirical analysis relating support for parties in pre-election polls to their final vote in legislative elections. The analysis relies on 23,000 vote intention polls in 31 countries since 1942, covering 212 discrete electoral cycles and encompassing 236 political parties. Our results indicate that party characteristics are important to the structure and evolution of preferences, and that the size and age of parties matter most of all. Preferences for smaller and older parties crystallize early and remain strikingly stable over the course of the election cycle by comparison with larger and newer parties. Though the patterns are as we expected, the details are somewhat surprising, as we will see
Jennings, Will
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Wlezien, Christopher
e5c172ce-90fc-4bb3-989f-f11e4acb7e53
Jennings, Will
2ab3f11c-eb7f-44c6-9ef2-3180c1a954f7
Wlezien, Christopher
e5c172ce-90fc-4bb3-989f-f11e4acb7e53

Jennings, Will and Wlezien, Christopher (2015) Political parties and the timeline of elections. Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, United States. 15 - 18 Apr 2015.

Record type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)

Abstract

Scholars are beginning to understand the evolution of electoral sentiment across countries. Recent research shows that early vote intention polls – from years before Election Day – contain substantial information about the final result but that they become increasingly informative over the election cycle. The degree to which this is true varies across countries in important and understandable ways given differences in political institutions, but the pattern is strikingly general. What we do not know is whether and how the characteristics of political parties matter. Do preferences evolve differently for niche and catch-all parties? For government and opposition parties? For new and old parties? This paper addresses these issues. We consider differences in political parties and how they might impact voter preferences over the course of the election cycle. We then outline an empirical analysis relating support for parties in pre-election polls to their final vote in legislative elections. The analysis relies on 23,000 vote intention polls in 31 countries since 1942, covering 212 discrete electoral cycles and encompassing 236 political parties. Our results indicate that party characteristics are important to the structure and evolution of preferences, and that the size and age of parties matter most of all. Preferences for smaller and older parties crystallize early and remain strikingly stable over the course of the election cycle by comparison with larger and newer parties. Though the patterns are as we expected, the details are somewhat surprising, as we will see

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Accepted/In Press date: April 2015
Published date: April 2015
Venue - Dates: Midwest Political Science Association Annual Meeting, Chicago, United States, 2015-04-15 - 2015-04-18
Organisations: Politics & International Relations

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 377393
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/377393
PURE UUID: c74703eb-95ae-4bf2-a6ff-7787094bab22
ORCID for Will Jennings: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9007-8896

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Date deposited: 04 Jun 2015 10:21
Last modified: 12 Dec 2021 03:53

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Contributors

Author: Will Jennings ORCID iD
Author: Christopher Wlezien

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