Voters and Parties

Anne Wren and Kenneth M. McElwain

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199566020
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577482 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Voters and Parties

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This article studies voters and parties, beginning with realignment or dealignment in the party-voter nexus. It discusses changes in the policy preferences of voters and even organizational changes to the party-voter linkage. Electoral competition, performance of traditional parties, and organizational change are discussed as well. This article determines that there are two parallel trends in the linkage between parties and voters. The first is that voters are showing weaker partisan identification with political parties, and a widening gap between the policy preferences of voters and the electoral manifestos of parties is apparent. The second trend is that improvements in educational attainment and innovations in media technology are strengthening the political capability of both parties and voters.

Keywords: voters; parties; party-voter nexus; policy preferences; organizational changes; party-voter linkage; electoral competition; traditional parties; partisan identification; electoral manifestos

Article.  11748 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics ; Political Behaviour

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