Acta Politica

, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 462–485

Economic crisis, party competence and the economic vote

Original Article

DOI: 10.1057/ap.2014.13

Cite this article as:
Bélanger, É. & Nadeau, R. Acta Polit (2014) 49: 462. doi:10.1057/ap.2014.13


We look at economic voting during times of financial crisis using individual-level survey data from the 2008 and 2011 Canadian Election Studies. We posit that in times of crisis, the economy’s impact on incumbent voting can be twofold. There is first an impact that is more traditional in nature and based on retrospective assessments of national economic conditions (which are necessarily bad given the crisis context). There is also an impact that is based on perceptions of the parties’ competence at managing the economy. Depending on these perceptions, the competence effect can compensate for incumbent vote losses that might be incurred from bad economic times (traditional effect). In more general terms, looking at competence-based issue ownership allows us to add a neglected valence component to the economic voting model.


economic voting incumbent voting economic crisis party competence issue ownership 

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada
  2. 2.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of MontrealMontréalCanada

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