Denis Cohen, Werner Krause, Tarik Abou-Chadi
Comparative vote switching: A new framework for studying dynamic multi-party competition

The Journal of Politics, In Press: (publ. online before print)
ISSN: 0022-3816 (print), 0022-3816 (online)

Large literatures focus on voter reactions to parties’ policy strategies, agency, orlegislative performance. While many inquiries make explicit assumptions about thedirection and magnitude of voter flows between parties, comparative empirical analysesof vote switching remain rare. In this paper, we overcome three challenges that havepreviously impeded the comparative study of dynamic party competition based onvoter flows: We present a novel conceptual framework for studying voter retention,defection, and attraction in multi-party systems, showcase a newly compiled datainfrastructure that marries comparative vote switching data with information on partybehavior and party systems in over 250 electoral contexts, and introduce a statisticalmodel that renders our conceptual framework operable. These innovations enablefirst-time inquiries into the polyadic vote switching patterns underlying multi-partycompetition and unlock major research potentials on party competition and partysystem change.