Rosa M. Navarrete
Go the distance: left-right orientations, partisanship and the vote

European Politics and Society, 2021: 22, issue 3, pp. 451-469
ISSN: 2374-5118 (print), 2374-5126 (online)

Do ideological orientations have different effects on citizens without party ties, citizens who identify with a particular party and citizens who identify with other parties? What conditional effects do partisan and ideological orientations have on the vote? Difficulties and controversies over definitions of partisanship and left-right ideology, their reciprocal effects and how these are overshadowed in analyses including both heuristics have discouraged scholars from conducting extensive comparative research on this topic. I test to what extent the effects of left-right orientations on voting differ depending on party attachments and how this relationship is influenced by party polarization. Results using data from 77 harmonized national studies in 17 European countries suggest that the effects of partisanship on vote choice are not additive to those of left-right orientations, while the latter are conditional on party identification. Thus, partisans, non-partisans and partisans of other parties respond differently to left-right distances. These differences are more pronounced when the degree of polarization is considered.