Recent research has shown that, in several countries, the Comparative Manifestos Project (CMP) estimates of party positions do not seem to perform well in terms of face validity and reliability. A fairly typical example of such a deviant case is that of Greece, where for the most part the findings based on this approach seem to suggest that parties’ positions are characterized by extreme discontinuity and leapfrogging. Employing a different coding methodology whose departure point is that party competition is still a matter of direct confrontation between parties, this analysis attempts to measure the positions of Greek parties on three issue dimensions: level of state intervention in the economy, support towards the political integration of the European Union and common European cultural identity. According to its findings, the traditional left–right distinction is still evident in parties’ economic stances whereas the other two issue dimensions indicate that there is an emerging new politics dimension which distinguishes between the centripetal political forces on the one hand and the extreme right and left parties on the other. Importantly, this relatively new coding procedure seems to provide estimates that outperform those stemming from the CMP data both in terms of reliability and face validity.
- European Parliament elections
- party positioning
- confrontational coding
- summated rating scales