Party Identification, Leader Effects and Vote Choice in Italy, 1990-2008

World Political Science Review, Vol. 8, Issue, p. 1-23, 2012

24 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2017

See all articles by Diego Garzia

Diego Garzia

University of Lausanne

Federico Viotti

University of Turin

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Previous studies have portrayed the personalization of politics as a consequence of the changes in the electoral market and the resulting transformations at the party level. However, empirical research has not reached a consensus on the extent to which this process has actually exerted its impact on citizens’ voting calculus. Partisan identifications appear still central in voters’ behavior, whereas party leader evaluations seem to play only a marginal role. This paper tries to examine the electoral consequences of the personalization of politics employing an alternative perspective. In particular, we concentrate on the role played by leader evaluations in shaping voters’ feelings of identification with parties. Our case study focuses on the Italian case, a prototype of personalized parliamentary democracy. In the empirical section, we examine the ways in which leaders have influenced Italian voters’ behavior in the last two decades. The results show that the electoral effect of party leaders (once the mediating effect of party identification is taken into account) has steadily increased during the time frame under analysis.

Suggested Citation

Garzia, Diego and Viotti, Federico, Party Identification, Leader Effects and Vote Choice in Italy, 1990-2008 (2012). World Political Science Review, Vol. 8, Issue, p. 1-23, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2909131

Diego Garzia (Contact Author)

University of Lausanne ( email )

Quartier Chambronne
Lausanne, Vaud CH-1015
Switzerland

Federico Viotti

University of Turin ( email )

Via Po 53
Torino, Turin - Piedmont 10100
Italy

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