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The post-crisis Irish voterVoting behaviour in the Irish 2016 general election$
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Michael Marsh, David Farrell, and Theresa Reidy

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526122643

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526122643.001.0001

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Ideological dimensions in the 2016 elections

Ideological dimensions in the 2016 elections

(p.33) 3 Ideological dimensions in the 2016 elections
The post-crisis Irish voter

Kevin Cunningham

Johan A. Elkink

Manchester University Press

This chapter evaluates the extent to which ideology may now matter more in Irish elections than before. It does so by analysing the relationship between the ideological positions of parties and vote choice, and by developing a dimensional mapping of ideological space based on rankings in the mock ballots. The principal conclusion is that while it may still be the case that ideology does not play a lead role in Irish politics, perhaps now it might be seen at least as ‘a supporting actor’. It remains the case that ideological positioning does not separate the two largest Irish parties, Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil; however, ideology does determine whether someone might vote for either or neither of these parties. On average Irish voters select parties that are ideologically close to them on a left-right scale, most prominently so for voters on the left of the spectrum where left vs. right does matter in their choice between parties. Overall, from a comparative perspective the Irish case may appear more conventional in terms of left-right competition than typically assumed; it also has an undercurrent of anti-globalisation that is similar to that found in other European states. 

Keywords:   Irish politics as unique, Ideological positions of parties, Class politics, Left vs. right

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