Random Walk or Planned Excursion? Continuity and Change in the Left–Right Positions of Political Parties. Dalton, R. J. and McAllister, I. Comparative Political Studies, December, 2014.
Random Walk or Planned Excursion? Continuity and Change in the Left–Right Positions of Political Parties [link]Paper  doi  abstract   bibtex   
Implicit in theories of democratic elections is the idea of change—or at least the potential for change. Elections provide the opportunity for citizens to change their party preferences and thus alter the course of government. In addition, political parties can change their programmatic positions to attract new voters. Our research asks how much parties change their Left–Right positions between elections and what this tells us about parties’ strategic choices. We utilize data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems project and the Chapel Hill Expert Surveys. We demonstrate very high stability in parties’ Left–Right position over time. Furthermore, we find only modest evidence that parties change their Left–Right position in a conscious process of vote seeking.
@article{ dalton_random_2014,
  title = {Random {Walk} or {Planned} {Excursion}? {Continuity} and {Change} in the {Left}–{Right} {Positions} of {Political} {Parties}},
  issn = {0010-4140, 1552-3829},
  shorttitle = {Random {Walk} or {Planned} {Excursion}?},
  url = {http://cps.sagepub.com/content/early/2014/12/05/0010414014558257},
  doi = {10.1177/0010414014558257},
  abstract = {Implicit in theories of democratic elections is the idea of change—or at least the potential for change. Elections provide the opportunity for citizens to change their party preferences and thus alter the course of government. In addition, political parties can change their programmatic positions to attract new voters. Our research asks how much parties change their Left–Right positions between elections and what this tells us about parties’ strategic choices. We utilize data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems project and the Chapel Hill Expert Surveys. We demonstrate very high stability in parties’ Left–Right position over time. Furthermore, we find only modest evidence that parties change their Left–Right position in a conscious process of vote seeking.},
  language = {en},
  urldate = {2015-01-12TZ},
  journal = {Comparative Political Studies},
  author = {Dalton, Russell J. and McAllister, Ian},
  month = {December},
  year = {2014}
}
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