Rosa M. Navarrete
Ideological proximity and voter turnout in multi-level systems: evidence from Spain

Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 2020: 30, issue 3, pp. 297-316
ISSN: 1745-7289 (print), 1745-7297 (online)

Does ideological proximity between the individual and political parties determine electoral participation in regional elections, as much as in national elections? Does the degree of self-rule of a region affect the interplay between ideological distance and turnout? This article addresses these questions and provides empirical evidence drawing upon individual-level and regional-level data from 53 regional elections and 4 national elections in Spain. Results indicate that citizens are more likely to vote when they perceive there is at least one congruent policy option among the party supply, and this happens at both regional and national levels. However, whether the closest party is in national government or whether it is a regionalist organization has a dissimilar impact on turnout in different tiers. This relationship between the type of party which is most ideologically proximate and electoral participation is partially affected by the degree of regional autonomy of the territory.