Partisanship, candidate evaluations, and prospective voting

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This article argues that in Europe partisanship is best conceptualised in terms of evaluation instead of identification. This follows in part from the fact that the position of partisanship in the funnel of causality differs between parliamentary and presidential systems. Moreover, the conceptualisation proposed (on the basis of the social-psychological notion of attitudes) overcomes various problems associated with the party identification concept. Empirical analyses of four Dutch parliamentary elections indicate that partisanship can then be distinguished meaningfully from vote choice. Although most voters cast a sincere vote, each year discrepancies between party preferences and vote choice were observed. These could be partly accounted for by the impact of candidate evaluations and prospective considerations concerning the future government.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)467-488
Number of pages22
JournalElectoral studies
Issue number2006
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • METIS-233222
  • IR-61257

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