Under the Shadow No More? How Junior Coalition Partners Can Improve Their Electoral Performances

28.11.2023 - 12:00 to 13:30
Location : 
A 5,6 Raum A 231
Type of Event : 
AB B-Kolloquium
Florence So
Lecturer affiliation: 
Lund University

Recent studies on coalition politics reveal that being junior coalition partners are electorally costly. I argue that to offset this, junior partners should differentiate from the prime minister's party by paying more attention than the latter does on non-macroeconomic issues, i.e. attention differentiation. Economic decline and voter attribution of economic responsibility on the finance minister's party offset junior partners’ electoral disadvantage; thus, attention differentiation is more electorally beneficial during economic improvement and for junior partners that do not control the finance portfolio. Results from statistical analyses support my hypotheses. They are robust to party size and single-issue parties and suggest that attention differentiation is more electorally effective than issue diversification and position differentiation. These findings have big implications on how junior partners' electoral strategies impact government formation. They highlight the need to examine the macroeconomy’s impact on parties' electoral strategies, especially on the issues they advocate under varying economic conditions.