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Article

The Impact of VAAs on Vote Switching at the 2019 Belgian Legislative Elections

More Switchers, but Making Their Own Choices

Journal Politics of the Low Countries, Issue 1 2021
Keywords voting advice applications, vote switching, vote choice, elections and electoral behaviour, voters/citizens in Belgium, VAA
Authors David Talukder, Laura Uyttendaele, Isaïa Jennart e.a.
AbstractAuthor's information

    During electoral campaigns, the use of voting advice applications (VAAs) has become increasingly widespread. Consequently, scholars have examined both the patterns of usage and their effects on voting behaviour. However, existing studies lead to conflicting findings. In this article, we take a closer look at the effect of De Stemtest/Test électoral (a VAA developed by academics from the University of Louvain and the University of Antwerp, in partnership with Belgian media partners) on vote switching. More specifically, we divide this latter question into two sub-questions: (1) What is the impact of a (dis)confirming advice from the VAA on vote switching? (2) Do VAA users follow the voting advice provided by the VAA? Our study shows that receiving a disconfirming advice from the VAA increases the probability of users to switch their vote choice.


David Talukder
David Talukder is a PhD candidate at the Université libre de Bruxelles (ULB, Belgium). He works within the research project “Reforming Representative Democracy”. His main research interests are democratic innovations, political representation, and democratic reforms.

Laura Uyttendaele
Laura Uyttendaele is a PhD candidate at the University of Louvain (UCLouvain, Belgium). Her main research interests are Voting Advice Applications, Youth & politics, political attitudes and behaviours, and experimental methods.

Isaïa Jennart
Isaïa Jennart is a PhD candidate (Universiteit Antwerpen & VUB, Belgium) interested in public opinion, electoral campaigns, voting behaviour, Voting Advice Applications and political knowledge. He mainly studies citizens’ knowledge of parties’ issue positions.

Benoît Rihoux
Benoît Rihoux is full professor in political science at the University of Louvain (UCLouvain, Belgium). His research covers comparative methods (especially QCA) as well as diverse topics in comparative politics, political organizations and political behaviour.
Article

Ze halen hun slag wel thuis

Over particratie en het aanpassingsvermogen van Belgische partijen

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2018
Keywords dealignment, electoral support, federalism, gender, particracy, personalisation
Authors Jean-Benoit Pilet and Petra Meier
AbstractAuthor's information

    Particracy has been widely used to describe Belgian politics after World War II. Yet, Belgian politics has changed. We examine five changes – the federalisation of the state architecture, diversification of the demos, erosion of political support, party’s dealignment and personalisation of politics – to evaluate how they have affected particracy in Belgium. The answer is twofold: particracy is still very strong, but it has changed. The three traditional party families that had institutionalised particracy in Belgium (Christian-democrats, socialists and liberals) had to face new challengers. They co-opted the most moderate ones (greens, regionalists), while excluding others (radical right/left). Intraparty democracy/participatory/transparency reforms, or changes to the electoral system, all of them opening the political system, were also implemented, but parties were able to overcome them. Yet, the ever-growing gap between traditional parties and citizens and the growth of new parties building upon voters’ dissatisfaction with traditional parties, may put particracy more radically into question.


Jean-Benoit Pilet
Jean-Benoit Pilet is hoogleraar in de Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB). Hij doet onderzoek naar politieke partijen, kiessystemen, kiesgedrag, de personalisering van de politiek en democratische vernieuwing. Over die thema’s publiceerde hij boeken bij Oxford University Press en Routledge en artikels in wetenschappelijke tijdschriften zoals European Journal of Political Reform, West European Politics, Party Politics, Electoral Studies, Environmental Politics, Representation, Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, Res Publica, Revue Française de Science Politique en Comparative European Politics.

Petra Meier
Petra Meier, hoogleraar Politieke Wetenschappen aan de Universiteit Antwerpen, focust op de representatie van gender, de reproductie van ongelijkheid en de constructie van normativiteit in politiek/beleid. Zij publiceerde recent een aantal special issues over de ontwikkeling van gender beleid (Journal of Women, Politics and Policies; met Emanuela Lombardo en Mieke Verloo), symbolische vertegenwoordiging (Politics, Groups, and Identities; met Tania Verge) en een boek over de professionalisering van de strijd voor gelijkheid (Academia L’Harmattan; met David Paternotte).
Article

Het financiële gedrag van politieke partijen

Een verkennend onderzoek op basis van de Belgische case

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2018
Keywords party spending, financial behaviour, spending behaviour, dealignment, professionalisation, Belgium
Authors Jef Smulders and Bart Maddens
AbstractAuthor's information

    In recent decades processes of partisan dealignment and professionalisation have taken place. But how do political parties adapt their financial behaviour to these changes in the political-electoral system? We answer this question by analysing two indicators. First, we examine to what extent parties spend their available financial means (saving versus spending strategy). Secondly, we study how parties spend their available financial means (bureaucratic versus electoral strategy). Based on these two indicators we set up a two-dimensional model describing the financial behaviour of political parties, which we apply to data of Belgian parties in the period 1999-2015. The results illustrate that most parties generally adopt a bureaucratic saving strategy, but that there has not been a linear evolution between 1999 and 2015 towards a specific financial behaviour as a reaction to dealignment and professionalisation.


Jef Smulders
Jef Smulders is aspirant van het Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO), verbonden aan de KU Leuven, Instituut voor de Overheid. Hij verricht voornamelijk onderzoek naar partij- en campagenfinanciering en naar de profielen van verkiezingskandidaten. Zijn doctoraatsproefschrift handelde over de uitgaven van politieke partijen in Europa.

Bart Maddens
Bart Maddens is gewoon hoogleraar in de politieke wetenschappen aan de KU Leuven, Instituut voor de Overheid. Zijn onderzoeksagenda richt zich hoofdzakelijk op partijen campagnefinanciering, politieke carrièrepatronen, de profielen van verkiezingskandidaten en multilevelsystemen.
Article

Politieke preferenties, breuklijnen en houdingen ten opzichte van politieke partijen

Een studie bij kiezers in Vlaanderen en Wallonië

Journal Res Publica, Issue 2 2013
Keywords cleavages, political preferences, left-right, voting motives, propensity to vote
Authors Joris Boonen and Marc Hooghe
AbstractAuthor's information

    Within political science there is an ongoing discussion about the persistent or diminishing influence of social cleavages on voting behavior and the extent to which new voting motives have taken over the explanatory power of these predictors. We investigate the influence of religion, nationalism, ethical conservatism/progressivism and left-right orientations on the voters’ appreciation of political parties in Belgium. This method allows us to make a more qualified analysis on voting motives, in particular for smaller parties. We use data from the 2009 PartiRep election study, which show that traditional cleavages still have an important influence on political preferences. While the left-right-dimension has a limited influence on voting preferences in Flanders, it does play a major role in Wallonia. Contrary to expectations, the explanatory power of left-libertarian and right-authoritarian positions is rather weak, with one major exception: the preference for Vlaams Belang is almost entirely determined by ethnocentrism while this attitude is not relevant for other parties. In general, we find that both traditional and postmaterialist cleavages play a more important role in predicting party appreciations in Flanders than they do for French-speaking respondents.


Joris Boonen
Joris Boonen is doctoraatsstudent aan het Centrum voor Politicologie van de KU Leuven. Zijn onderzoek gaat over kiesgedrag en de transmissie van politieke voorkeuren.

Marc Hooghe
Marc Hooghe is gewoon hoogleraar politieke wetenschappen aan de KU Leuven en gastprofessor aan de Universiteit van Mannheim. Hij publiceert vooral over politieke participatie en politiek vertrouwen.
Article

Het democratisch mandaat van Nederlandse politieke partijen: crisis of continuïteit?

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2012
Keywords party mandate, political representation, political parties, Dutch national elections, parliamentary behaviour
Authors Tom Louwerse
AbstractAuthor's information

    This article studies the extent to which Dutch political parties fulfil their electoral mandates. The central question is how collective mandate fulfilment has developed over the last sixty years. Increasing electoral volatility, changes in party organizations and the rise of populist parties could have resulted in a decrease of party mandate fulfilment. Contrary to previous studies, this article studies the mandate in terms of congruence between the electoral and parliamentary party competition. This allows for the study of opposition parties’ mandate fulfilment. Election manifestos and parliamentary debates are studied for six elections and the subsequent parliaments (between 1950-2006). The structure of the party competition is rather congruent before and after elections for all of the cases, except 1972-1977. There is no evidence for a decline of the degree to which parties collectively fulfil their electoral mandates.


Tom Louwerse
Tom Louwerse is als postdoctoraal onderzoeker en docent verbonden aan het Instituut voor Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. Zijn onderzoek richt zich voornamelijk op politieke representatie, politieke partijen en het parlement.
Article

Ontzuiling van kiesgedrag. Een proces van generationele vervanging gedreven door cognitieve mobilisatie?

Een age-period-cohort-analyse van stemmen voor CDA en PvdA in Nederland, 1971-2010

Journal Res Publica, Issue 3 2012
Keywords generational replacement, age-period-cohort-analysis, composition effects, cognitive mobilization, the Netherlands, cleavage voting
Authors Ruth Dassonneville
AbstractAuthor's information

    Electoral behavior has changed considerably over the last few decades. The Netherlands are exemplary of how the cleavage structure has waned and how this has led to a weakening of the bonds between parties and voters and to higher levels of electoral volatility. Christian democratic and social democratic parties are most affected by these changes, because of their strong roots in the cleavage structure. The alterations in electoral behavior are generally assumed to be evolving gradually through a process of generational replacement. Composition effects on the one hand and a weakening of the impact of socio-structural factors, partly caused by cognitive mobilization on the other hand are considered to be the mechanisms behind this generational change. This paper tests these assumptions with regard to the Netherlands on the basis of the Dutch Parliamentary Election Surveys, 1971-2010. The findings indicate that while some variation between different birth cohorts is visible, most of the differences in voting for both of these parties, however, are situated at the level of election years. Furthermore, with regard to what drives change over time, the analyses indicate that while composition effects and changes in the effects of socio-structural variables are of some importance, cognitive mobilization is not causing the change observed.


Ruth Dassonneville
Ruth Dassonneville is als aspirant van het FWO verbonden aan het Departement Politieke Wetenschappen van de KULeuven. Ze bereidt een proefschrift voor over electorale volatiliteit in West-Europa.
Article

Klasse is niet dood – Zij is levend begraven

Klassengebonden stemgedrag en cultureel stemgedrag in westerse samenlevingen (1956-1990)

Journal Res Publica, Issue 4 2007
Authors Jeroen van der Waal, Peter Achterberg and Dick Houtman
AbstractAuthor's information

    By means of a re-analysis of the most relevant data source (Nieuwbeerta & Ganzeboom 1996), this paper criticizes the newly grown consensus in political sociology that class voting has declined since World War II. An increase of crosscutting cultural voting, rooted in educational differences, rather than a decline of class voting proves responsible for the decline of the traditional class-party alignments. Moreover, income differences have not become less, but more consequential for voting behavior during this period. It is concluded that the new consensus has been built on quicksand. Class is not dead – it has been buried alive under the increasing weight of cultural voting, systematically misinterpreted as a decline of class voting, due to the widespread application of the Alford index.


Jeroen van der Waal
Promovendus aan de vakgroep Sociologie, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Peter Achterberg
Post-doctoraal onderzoeker aan de vakgroep Sociologie, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.

Dick Houtman
Universitair hoofddocent aan de vakgroep Sociologie, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam.
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