Recent studies document that voters infer parties' left‐right policy agreement based on governing coalition arrangements. This article extends this research to present theoretical and empirical evidence that European citizens update their perceptions of junior coalition partners' left‐right policies to reflect the policies of the prime minister's party, but that citizens do not reciprocally project junior coalition partners' policies onto the prime minister's party. These findings illuminate the simple rules that citizens employ to infer parties' policy positions, broaden understanding of how citizens perceive coalition governance and imply that ‘niche’ parties, whose electoral appeal depends upon maintaining a distinctive policy profile, assume electoral risks when they enter government.
|Journal||European Journal of Political Research|
|Number of pages||21|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2015|
- Coalition politics
- Niche parties
- Party positions
- Voter perceptions