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Political Choice MattersExplaining the Strength of Class and Religious Cleavages in Cross-National Perspective$
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Geoffrey Evans and Nan Dirk de Graaf

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199663996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199663996.001.0001

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Do Social Divisions Explain Political Choices? The Case of Poland *

Do Social Divisions Explain Political Choices? The Case of Poland *

(p.336) (p.337) 13 Do Social Divisions Explain Political Choices? The Case of Poland*
Political Choice Matters

Natalia Letki

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the relationship between the economic and value positions taken by the political parties and levels of class and religious voting in Poland between 1989 and 2005. It shows that class became a relevant predictor of voters' choices only in the mid-2000s, while religiosity was strongly present in Polish politics throughout the entire period. Political parties, on the other hand, initially competed for votes along the economic dimension, only with time taking more differentiated positions along the values dimension. By the time a more clearly defined class-based electorate emerged, parties converged on the left of the interest axis and polarised along the values axis. The overall conclusion points to the relative stability of social bases of voters' behaviour, and fluidity of parties' positions throughout the period under analysis.

Keywords:   poland, voting, class, religion, parties, polarisation

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