Issues, Discontent, and Third-Party Voting: The Case of the Netherlands
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Scholarly accounts of the dramatic breakthrough of the List Pim Fortuyn (LPF) in the 2002 Dutch parliamentary election have mostly emphasized two factors behind the success of that party. It has first been argued that the LPF brought a distinct issue profile to the electoral arena, which made it attractive for voters holding similar policy views. The second hypothesis, that feelings of political discontent also fuelled support for the LPF, remains highly contested because of the possible endogeneity bias of cynicism attitudes. We re-examine this question using survey data from the 1998-2002 panel of the Dutch National Election Study. Our approach’s novelty is to estimate 2002’s vote choice using indicators of individuals’ issue priorities and cynical attitudes as measured in the 1998 wave of the panel. The findings suggest that policy preferences and attitudes of discontent both contributed to the LPF vote, thus providing support for both interpretations of the rise of this party. These results are consistent with most existing work on “third” or minor party voting showing that lack of confidence toward government and politics is fertile ground for these party movements.
Session 2: Political representation and legitimacy
- vote choice
- issue distances