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Explaining Intra-party Perceptions of Party Organization and Leadership

European Politics
Parliaments
Political Methodology
Political Parties
Party Members
Political Ideology
Royce Carroll
University of Essex
Royce Carroll
University of Essex

Abstract

We examine the sources of members’ discontent with their party organizations. While most research on intraparty politics focuses on legislative behavior, most aspects of intraparty tensions are not directly measurable and only rarely lead to observable consequences. Underlying such behavior is each member’s perception of their party’s internal organization, which may be influenced by the extent to which members hold policy views unrepresented by their party or other goals their party may impede. Our aim is to examine whether the policy positions of politicians affects their attitudes regarding party organization, discipline, and leadership. To address this, we derive a latent measure of individual policy preferences from cross-national elite survey data for several advanced parliamentary democracies. We find that ideological factors do systematically drive perceptions of one’s party organization with the notable exception of independent floor voting. We also find that this pattern is strongest within the most policy-focused parties.