Exploring Voter Alignments in Africa: Core and Swing Voters in Ghana

Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 1-22, 2005

22 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2007 Last revised: 9 Jan 2014

See all articles by Staffan I. Lindberg

Staffan I. Lindberg

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute; Göteborg University - Department of Political Science

Minion K.C. Morrison

University of Missouri at Saint Louis

Abstract

This article describes and analyses voter alignments in the new democracy of Ghana in two recent elections, 1996 and 2000. These elections are a part of the Fourth Republic that began with a 'founding' election in 1992, ushering Ghana into Africa's new wave of democratisation. First the size of the core voting population is established to be about 82% of the voting population, refuting the assumption that voting volatility in new and transitional democracies is always extremely high. A second conclusion is that core and swing voters cannot be distinguished by structural factors, whereas thirdly, the factors behind the party alignment of core voters are similar to Western patterns; primarily level of education, the rural-urban divide, income, and occupation. Finally, swing voters seem to be characterised by a conscious evaluation of government and candidate performance in a sign of relatively 'mature' democratic voting behaviour.

Keywords: elections, Africa, voting behavior, clientelism, survey, democratization

Suggested Citation

Lindberg, Staffan I. and Morrison, Minion K.C., Exploring Voter Alignments in Africa: Core and Swing Voters in Ghana. Journal of Modern African Studies, Vol. 43, No. 4, pp. 1-22, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1013654

Staffan I. Lindberg (Contact Author)

Göteborg University - Varieties of Democracy Institute ( email )

Sprängkullsgatan 19
Gothenburg, Gothenburg 405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se/varianter-pa-demokrati--v-dem-/

Göteborg University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 711
Gothenburg, S-405 30
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.pol.gu.se

Minion K.C. Morrison

University of Missouri at Saint Louis ( email )

1 University Blvd.
St Louis, MO 63121
United States

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