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Party identification revisited

Rosema's picture

Publication Type:

Book Chapter


Political Parties and Partisanship: Social Identity and Individual Attitudes, Routledge/ECPR Series in European Political Science, London, p.42-59 (2009)




partisanship, party identification


In this chapter we revisit the debate on the usefulness of the concept of party identification in cross-national research. In our earlier work we showed that, at least in the Netherlands, party identification was empirically hardly discernible from the vote, whereas party identification was less stable than vote choice (Thomassen, 1976). As several authors argued that these findings might be due to the nature of the times in the Netherlands, we replicate these analyses with data spanning a longer period of time. The analyses mainly confirm our original findings. Next we shift our attention to other Western European parliamentary systems and find that in those, too, explaining vote choice on the basis of the concept of party identification appears problematic.