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Research note: On the inverse relationship between votes and proximity for niche parties

Ezrow, L (2008) 'Research note: On the inverse relationship between votes and proximity for niche parties.' European Journal of Political Research, 47 (2). 206 - 220. ISSN 0304-4130

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Do niche parties occupying left-right policy positions that diverge sharply from the centre of the voter distribution gain more popular support than those moderately positioned along the left-right continuum? Cross-sectional analyses, based on observations from twelve Western European countries from 1984-1998, are presented that suggest the answer is 'yes'. By contrast, these analyses strongly suggest that for mainstream parties, policy radicalism depresses popular support. The implication of these findings is that for niche parties, it is the distinctiveness of their left-right positions that enhances their competitiveness in democratic elections. While this finding runs counter to the intuition of standard spatial theory, it is consistent with recent dynamic accounts of niche party responsiveness to shifts in public opinion and electoral support for niche parties. These findings have implications for party strategies, spatial theories and the understanding of political representation. © 2007 (European Consortium for Political Research).

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 21 Sep 2013 15:15
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2019 22:15

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