The Stability of French Political Space, 1988–2002
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This paper extends our analysis of French political space (2003), and the relationship between cleavages, values and party choice, to the 2002 Presidential elections. It re-tests both Grunberg and Schweisguth's tripartition hypothesis against our hypothesis of continued bipartition in the context of an election where the Extreme Right candidate played a highly significant role in both rounds and could consequently be expected to stand clearly apart from the mainstream Left and Right as a separate bloc. While we find that there are clear distinctions between the Moderate and Extreme Right in some respects, the separation appears to be a product of the institutional framework which maintains this division artificially: the abiding impression of French political space over 14 years is one of stability.
Keywordsparties political space cleavage voting value systems Extreme Right institutions
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