Chapter

Peripheral Parties’ Electoral Strategies after Devolution

Sonia Alonso

in Challenging the State: Devolution and the Battle for Partisan Credibility

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780199691579
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741234 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199691579.003.0008

Series: Comparative Politics

Peripheral Parties’ Electoral Strategies after Devolution

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This chapter analyses the strategic reaction of peripheral parties in response to the state parties’ pro-periphery moves. The chapter discusses under what conditions the peripheral parties’ strategies were effective, stopping or even reversing their losses to state parties. The chapter uses survey data to explore the effect that political parties’ strategies had on their electoral weight among the different constituencies along the centre–periphery dimension. The results show that being simultaneously present among the centrist and the extreme pro-periphery voters was nearly an impossible task. Peripheral parties had to choose whether to concentrate their efforts among one or the other constituency and in the presence of state parties’ pro-periphery strategies a majority opted for growing among pro-periphery voters. Finally, in the years of devolution reforms or (partial) implementation of peripheral parties’ demands all state parties benefited by increasing their credibility among the pro-periphery voters, even the state parties with a most centralist trajectory.

Keywords: decentralized state; peripheral parties; issue radicalization; issue diversification; electoral performance; issue ownership; voters’ preferences

Chapter.  15958 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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