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Linking Citizens and PartiesHow Electoral Systems Matter for Political Representation$
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Lawrence Ezrow

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572526

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572526.001.0001

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Are Moderate Parties Rewarded in Multiparty Systems?

Are Moderate Parties Rewarded in Multiparty Systems?

(p.23) 2 Are Moderate Parties Rewarded in Multiparty Systems?
Linking Citizens and Parties

Lawrence Ezrow (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Are moderate parties rewarded in multiparty systems? Cross‐national analyses estimate the vote shares for approximately eighty parties across twelve Western European democracies. The results indicate that parties' vote shares increase with their proximity to the Center of the voter distribution, although the effects are relatively small. With respect to temporal shifts in vote share, additional results suggest that parties gain votes when public opinion (i.e., the mean voter) shifts in their direction between elections. These findings corroborate the theoretical results reported by Lin et al. (1999), and provide support for conclusions reported by other authors who rely on simulations of individual‐level data from national election surveys.

Keywords:   spatial model, Downs, Alvarez, Nagler, mean voter, party proximity, election outcomes, voting, political representation, Western Europe, party positions, public opinion, party competition

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