The effect of congruence in policy priorities on electoral participation

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Abstract

This paper proposes that voters are more likely to turn out at elections if candidates and parties address their issue concerns in the election campaign. Voters with high levels of congruence in policy priorities should perceive the campaign as more interesting and the election as more relevant. In addition, the costs associated with the vote choice should be lower if voters' policy priorities are salient. The effect should be weakened by party identification, which acts both as a mobilising force and as a heuristic to the vote choice, making information costs less detrimental to turnout. The analysis, which links voter survey data with candidate survey and media content data from the 2009 German federal election, confirms the hypotheses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-172
Number of pages15
JournalElectoral Studies
Volume36
Early online date15 Oct 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2014

Keywords

  • voter turnout
  • issue priorities
  • policy congruence
  • party identification

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