Party Competition and Vote Choice

  • Dennis Christopher SpiesEmail author
  • Simon T. Franzmann


Analyzing the relationships between political parties and voters is one of the central topics of political science. Parties are expected either to be responsive to the demands of their voters or are presumed to have the power to influence voting decisions by structuring the political discourse and thereby competition regarding political issues. These two aspects are covered in the literature by research on the way parties present themselves and by electoral research, respectively. Focusing on the latter, this state-of-the-art article reviews how recent publications have analyzed the impact of party competition (macro level) on vote choice (individual level). It does so by introducing the most prominent theories of voting and party competition, summarizing the most recent results and pointing to potential problems for international comparisons such as methodological choices and different approaches to the measurement of party positions.


Manifesto data Vote choice Positional theory Issue salience Expert surveys 

Parteienwettbewerb und Wahlverhalten


Die Analyse der Beziehungen zwischen politischen Parteien und Wählern ist eines der zentralen Themen der Politikwissenschaft. Hinsichtlich der Parteien wird davon ausgegangen, dass sie sich entweder responsiv gegenüber den Forderungen ihrer Wähler zeigen oder aber die Macht haben, deren Wahlentscheidung zu beeinflussen, indem sie den politischen Diskurs und damit den Wettbewerb um politische Themen strukturieren. Diese beiden Aspekte werden zum einen in der Parteien-, zum anderen in der Wahlforschung behandelt. Mit Blick auf Letztere wird in diesem State-of-the-Art-Artikel dargestellt, wie neuere Veröffentlichungen die Auswirkungen des Parteienwettbewerbs (Makroebene) auf die Wahlentscheidung (Individualebene) analysieren. Dies geschieht durch eine Einführung in die wichtigsten Theorien zur Wahlentscheidung und zum Parteienwettbewerb, auf deren Grundlage eine Zusammenfassung der Ergebnisse neuerer, quantitativer Studien erfolgt. Potenzielle Probleme für den internationalen Vergleich werden hierbei ebenso erörtert wie wichtige methodische Neuerungen und die verschiedenen verfügbaren Ansätze zur Messung von Parteienpositionen.


Parteiprogrammdaten Wahlverhalten Räumliche Politikmodelle Themensalienz Expertenumfragen 


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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dennis Christopher Spies
    • 1
    Email author
  • Simon T. Franzmann
    • 2
  1. 1.Cologne Center for Comparative PoliticsUniversity of CologneKölnGermany
  2. 2.Social Science Department, Comparative PoliticsHeinrich-Heine University DüsseldorfDüsseldorfGermany

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