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Conférence “Are Parties Still Responsive to Public Opinion?”, par Ruth Dassonneville, Nadjim Fréchet and Alexandra Jabbour

One of the core assumptions of models of democratic representation is that parties respond dynamically to shifts in public opinion. Reassuringly, previous work in the field shows indications of party responsiveness. Generally focusing on responsiveness on a left-right dimension, scholars have shown that mainstream parties in Western Europe tend to adjust their left-right position when voters shift. Motivated by the fact that party competition in European democracies is increasingly multidimensional, however, and by indications that citizens' perceptions of left and right are changing over time, we verify whether this core finding still holds. We use information on parties' positions from the Comparative Manifesto Project, and public opinion data on the left-right scale and on more specific issue dimensions from the Eurobarometer project and from Caughey et al. (2019). Our results suggest that mainstream parties in recent times are no longer responsive to shifts in the mean voter's left-right position. However, we also find that a pattern or responsiveness to the public's attitudes on immigration has gradually emerged.


Organisé par la Chaire de recherche en études électorales et la Chaire de recherche du Canada en démocratie électorale.


Contactez pour rejoindre la conférence sur Zoom.


DATE : mardi 7 juillet, 12h-13h