Tuesday Seminar – 30 November

Getting the most out of comparative vote switching data: A new framework for studying dynamic multi-party competition

Denis Cohen (University of Mannheim)
Werner Krause (Humboldt University of Berlin)
Tarik Abou-Chadi (University of Oxford)

Large literatures on party competition and voting behavior focus on voter reactions to parties’ policy strategies, agency, or legislative performance. While many inquiries make explicit assumptions about the direction and magnitude of voter flows between parties, comparative empirical analyses of vote switching remain rare. In this paper, we overcome three challenges that have previously impeded the comparative study of dynamic party competition based on voter flows: We showcase a newly compiled data set that marries comparative vote switching data with information on party behavior and party systems in 204 electoral contexts across 36 OECD countries, present a novel conceptual framework for studying how party behavior affects voter retention, defection, and attraction in multi-party systems, and introduce a statistical model that renders this framework operable. Based on the example of the positional convergence between mainstream parties in Western Europe, we highlight how the study of voter flows can advance our understanding of the dynamic complexities of multiparty competition.

Contact Semih Çakır if you would like to participate in the seminar.

This content has been updated on 17 December 2021 at 2 h 16 min.