Value orientation, left-right placement and voting

Jan W. van Deth, Petrus A.T.M. Geurts

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In this article we try to disentangle the constraints between traditional lines of political polarization (left-right placement) and newer distinctions (materialist/postmaterialist values) among mass publics. It is shown that voting or party preference is most clearly related to the left-right placement of the respondents. However, this placement is directly and strongly dependent on the materialist/postmaterialist orientation, while background variables like education, income and age are linked to voting via this value orientation. The materialist/postmaterialist orientation appears to be the present-day interpretation of the dominant political conflict in advanced industrial society. Although alignments and orientations count for a substantive part of the variance in voting, the power of these models to predict the actual vote of people turns out to be rather poor.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)17-34
JournalEuropean journal of political research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1989


  • IR-58425

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