Economic and corruption voting in a predominant party system: The case of Turkey

Abstract

Voting behavior studies have paid scarce attention to the predominant party system (PPS), in which one party has won three consecutive legislative majorities, despite the fact that nearly half of the world democracies have had a PPS. It is often unclear why a large portion of voters prefer the same party over a long period of time. We propose two hypotheses to address the question. First, since PPSs often thrive when economic performance is strong, the long-term economic success of the incumbent party produces a “halo effect” that renders voters insensitive to short-term economic changes. Second, voters blame the incumbent party for the corruption of politicians only, and not for bureaucratic corruption. The current Turkish government initially established its wide electoral support on the basis of its economic performance, which gave rise to a PPS in 2011. However, the Turkish government has been tarnished in recent years by corruption allegations, especially since 2013. This paper applies a three-choice multinomial logit model to 2014 survey data to examine voter preference between the incumbent party, opposition parties, and neither in Turkey under its PPS. The results supported both hypotheses.

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Figure 1

Source: Compiled by the author from data provided by the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (2015)

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Acknowledgements

The author is greatly indebted to KONDA for all its support for this research, including graciously sharing its valuable dataset with the author. Many thanks also go to the two anonymous referees of the journal for their invaluable comments and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Yasushi Hazama.

Appendix 1: Excerpts from the KONDA barometer brochure (the English version of KONDA Barometresi)

Appendix 1: Excerpts from the KONDA barometer brochure (the English version of KONDA Barometresi)

Sampling

The electoral registers and results of 2011 General Parliamentary elections lie at the heart of sampling calculations. Firstly the regional information and election results of the 46 thousand 797 neighborhood and villages (the smallest administrative units) are stratified. The locations where interviews will be conducted are selected randomly according to the population size of the strata. As a result, a sample of 2400 to 3600 subjects is drawn, representing the opinion of the general public.

Field organization

In each neighborhood or village, interviewers adhere to strict gender and age quotas and interview a total of 12 or 18 subjects. At the fieldwork stage, field interviewers report to team leaders, who in turn report to regional managers. Regional managers and inspectors report directly to the field coordinator. At least 40 percent of field interviewers are inspected through methods such as unannounced visits to the interviewer on the job, phone calls from the headquarters, re-visits by inspectors to households interviewed and computer-aided scans for logical flaws in the questionnaire forms. If an interviewer fails any of the controls, data she has collected is erased from the dataset.

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Hazama, Y. Economic and corruption voting in a predominant party system: The case of Turkey. Acta Polit 53, 121–148 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41269-017-0041-5

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Keywords

  • voting
  • predominant party system
  • economy
  • corruption
  • Turkey