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State-wide parties in multilevel politics: the pre-eminence of national level. A case study of Spanish People Party.

Patricia Correa Vila
Aston University
Patricia Correa Vila
Aston University
Open Panel

Abstract

The emergence of multilevel political systems is changing the way political parties compete. The opportunities for competing and eventually acceding to institutions in several political arenas may lead political parties to adopt different political strategies. From this point of view, they might decide whether to form electoral coalitions with the same partners at different political arenas, either regional or national. This dilemma is particularly true in new decentralized countries like Spain, where parties must combine a global national strategy with different strategies at the regional level. The Spanish People Party (PP) is a good example of this dilemma. However, despite of competing in a multi-level political system, the PP continues giving priority to perform a strong national strategy. We can expect that PP might adapt their coalitional strategies at the regional level in order to improve their position in the national arena. We believe that their presidential and centralized structure may have some influence in the adoption of different strategies in regions. The aim of this paper is to obtain some preliminary evidences in order to corroborate our hypothesis. We are going to analyze the political strategy of the PP, whether they compete alone or form coalitions and whether they share the same composition in these coalitions amongst different types of elections, either regional and national ones.