Chapter

Theories and Models of Party Support

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

in Political Choice in Britain

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199244881
Published online November 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601521 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019924488X.003.0002
 Theories and Models of Party Support

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Discusses the theoretical frameworks that guide the empirical analyses in Political Choice in Britain. The sociological framework identifies various aspects of an individual’s social location, such as social class, region, gender and ethnicity, as sources of differential voting patterns. The individual rationality framework encompasses both the Downsian and the valence approaches. Our characterization of the Downsian approach focuses on issue positions and issue proximities. The valence approach specifies that heuristics and other types of ‘rough and ready’ calculations inform voters’ party preferences. Although conceptualized quite differently, party identification is a predictor variable in both theoretical frameworks.

Keywords: heuristics; leader images; party identification; position issues; valence issues

Chapter.  9814 words. 

Subjects: UK Politics

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