Anna-Sophie Kurella, Jan Rosset
The Rise of Cultural Issues as an Opportunity for the Right? Insights from the 2015 Swiss Election

Swiss Political Science Review, 2018: 24, issue 4, pp. 381-399
ISSN: 1424-7755 (print); 1662-6370 (online)

This article presents an explanation for the success of the right in the 2015 Swiss parliamentary election based on the spatial model of voting. Since there is no party combining economically left with culturally authoritarian policy stances, voters with that preference combination face a difficult electoral choice. We show that they are more likely to abstain, and that those voters who turn out are more likely to cast votes for the right who represents them on cultural issues. We argue that this behavior is due to the fact that voters with this culturally conservative and economically left preferences attach more weight to cultural issues when making an electoral choice. On the aggregate, both findings imply an underrepresentation of economically left interests in the election result, and lead to a disproportional vote share for the right.