The Rise of Party/Leader Identification in Western Europe
Political Research Quarterly 66: 533-544
33 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2017
Date Written: 2013
This article investigates the attitudinal drivers of partisanship in Western Europe, focusing in particular on the role exerted by voters’ evaluation of party leaders. The cross-sectional analysis is performed on pooled national election study data from three established parliamentary democracies (Britain, Germany, and the Netherlands). Results highlight the growing statistical association between leader evaluations and voters’ feelings of partisan attachment throughout the last three decades. Further analyses of selected panel data provide evidence for a causal interpretation in which voters’ evaluation of party leaders plays a crucial role in shaping their feelings of attachment to parties.
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