Voters Political parties Ireland Policy Elections Party competition
Economic & Social Research Institute
Benoit, Kenneth; Laver, Michael. 'Mapping the Irish policy space: voter and party spaces in preferential elections'. - Economic & Social Review, Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer/Autumn, 2005, pp. 83–108, Dublin: Economic & Social Research Institute
In this note we map the Irish policy space, locating both voters and parties on the most
salient policy dimensions in Ireland. Estimates of the voter locations are based on the Irish National Election Survey (INES), conducted in 2002. Estimates of the party positions are based on an expert survey of party positions conducted by the authors in late 2002. We show that respondent self-placements on a priori policy scales are highly biased and difficult to interpret, and we rely instead on building scale positions for respondents from their answers to relevant attitude questions in the INES. The results provide a methodological template for locating voters and parties in a common space – a significant problem for any analyst who wants to create an empirical elaboration of a spatial model of party competition.
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