The Dynamics of Party Identification

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:
 The Dynamics of Party Identification

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Addresses important theoretical questions that arise from analyses in Chs 3 and 4 documenting that party identification is a powerful predictor of electoral preference. According to sociological models, party identification is a long-term, stable, affective orientation, whereas for models in the individual rationality framework, party identification is a summary, potentially mutable, tally of current and past party performance evaluations. Analyses of individual-level panel data show that, since the early 1960s, there has been considerable individual-level instability in party identification in Britain, and that this instability is not simply an artefact of random measurement error. Analyses of panel data and aggregate-level time series data also reveal that partisan dynamics reflect judgements about party leader performance and economic evaluations–key variables in the valence politics model of party support.

Keywords: age cohorts; ARFIMA models; dealignment; MMLC models; partisan instability; realignment

Chapter.  16784 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: UK Politics

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