- Kieskeurige kiezers: een panelstudie naar de veranderlijkheid van partijvoorkeuren
- B en M : Tijdschrift voor Beleid, Politiek en Maatschappij
- Volume | Issue number
- 39 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The Dutch electorate is the most volatile of Western Europe. At its height in 2002 more than 30 percent of the seats in the Dutch Lower House changed to another party. But what does the increased electoral volatility mean? Are volatile voters whimsical, behaving randomly like drift-sand? Or are volatile voters emancipated, no longer committed to a single political party but still loyal to their own preferences?We answer these questions by analysing the 1VOP panel data set, which covers 55.847 adult respondents who participated in at least 2 of the 58 waves between November 2006 and June 2010.First, we assess the presence, frequency, and direction of changes in voters’ party preferences. More than half of the respondents (52 percent) changed party preference at least once. However, they mostly stick to one of two ideologically coherent party blocks.Second, we explain why some voters are more likely to change party preference than others. Especially middle groups are volatile: people with modal income and average levels of education, and people who position themselves in the political center. However, the lower educated are more likely to switch between dissimilar parties. These findings support the view that increased volatility reflects voter emancipation.
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