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Which way from Left to Right? The Issue Basis of Citizens’ Ideological Self-placement in Western Europe

Cleavages
 
Comparative Politics
 
Political Sociology
 
Presenter
Romain Lachat
Sciences Po Paris
Authors
Romain Lachat
Sciences Po Paris

Abstract
This paper analyses the relation between citizens’ left–right orientation and their preferences on more concrete economic and sociocultural issues. It suggests that this relation should be non-linear. Economic issue preferences should be associated with stronger differences among left-wing citizens (e.g., between extreme-left and centre-left citizens) than among right-wing voters. The reverse pattern should characterize the relation between sociocultural issues and ideological self-placement. The analysis of 19 elections in five West European countries offers strong support for hypothesis that left–right ideology and political issues are not related in a linear way.
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