Department of Political Science

Issue Salience and Candidate Position Taking in Parliamentary Parties

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Research on parliamentary representation has traditionally assumed that political parties take clear and differentiated policy positions, but recent studies suggest that parties sometimes have an electoral incentive to present voters with a distribution of positions to select from at the ballot box. This article explores whether parliamentary parties pursue such a strategy through candidate position taking using unique elite and mass survey data from Denmark. The results illustrate that parties are highly unified on issues that are salient to their electoral brand, but that they develop a distribution of positions that is related to voter preferences at the district level on less salient issues. These findings have important implications for the way that representation works in parliamentary democracies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitical Studies
Pages (from-to)307-325
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • CITIZENS, COMPETITION, CONSEQUENCES, OWNERSHIP, PUBLIC-OPINION, VOTE, broad-appeal strategy, candidate positions, issue salience, parliamentary democracies, representation

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