Partisanship and Political Sophistication During and Outside of Election Times


In many established democracies, partisan attachments play a central role in guiding citizens’ attitudes as well as their political behaviour. Most importantly, partisanship has an effect on what party citizens vote for on Election Day. In general, highly politically sophisticated citizens are more likely to identify with a party compared to the less politically sophisticated. This article argues that the strength of an individual’s partisan attachment varies considerably over time. More specifically, it finds that party attachments are stronger when Election Day is close. The less politically sophisticated in particular benefit from such an effect and develop stronger attachments at election times.

This content has been updated on 16 April 2018 at 8 h 56 min.