Chapter

Relating Elector to Voter Preferences

Ian Budge, Hans Keman, Michael McDonald and Paul Pennings

in Organizing Democratic Choice

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199654932
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741685 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654932.003.0010

Series: Comparative Politics

Relating Elector to Voter Preferences

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As citizen-electors and voters are different bodies of people, particularly in terms of the choice situation within which they express their preferences, we cannot simply assume that they are the same. They have to be compared explicitly. Democracy has to guarantee a necessary connection between public policy and citizen preferences, so we have in the first place to see how far voter and electoral preferences correspond. It cannot simply be assumed that they do. Comparing Eurobaromoter Left-Right self placements by electors with the positions stated out by voters in elections we find only limited correspondence in terms of election-by-election congruence and responsiveness but very substantial long term correspondence, especially between their mean positions. This gives an assurance that elections and voters do represent electors fairly over the long term.

Keywords: electors; voters; Eurobarometers; manifesto data set; left-right spatial representation

Chapter.  5847 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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