Department of Political Science

Union members at the polls in diverse trade union landscapes

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Christoph Arndt
  • ,
  • Line Rennwald, University of Geneva, Switzerland
This article investigates to what extent social democratic parties still benefit from the support of union members at the polls. Not only are social democratic parties confronted with new competitors in the party systems, but also the union confederations of the socialist labour movement are in some countries losing their dominant position due to the rise of separate professional confederations. It is argued in the article that the effect of union membership on voting choice is conditioned by the structure of the trade union movement. The support of union members for social democracy is fostered by the strength of the confederations historically close to this party family, while it is hampered when strong separate (or politically unaffiliated) white-collar confederations exist. Using European Social Survey and Swedish Public Opinion data, the article shows that social democratic parties still enjoy important support from trade union members, but at the same time are under fierce competition from bourgeois and green parties among members of white-collar confederations. This reinforces the challenges for social democracy to build new voters’ coalitions in post-industrial societies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Political Research
Volume55
Issue4
Pages (from-to)702-722
Number of pages21
ISSN0304-4130
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 96493089