Elff, Martin. 2009. "Social Divisions, Party Positions, and Electoral Behaviour". Electoral Studies 28(2): 297-308.

Abstract:

The “new conventional wisdom” of a waning impact of social divisions on political choices has been subject to debate in recent years. This paper addresses the debate by assessing the relevance of parties’ political positions, using a novel approach to analysing it comparatively, based on a combination of data from the Eurobarometer with data of the Comparative Manifestos Project. The findings of this paper lend support to the claim that the decline in the relation between social divisions and voting behaviour, so far as it can be observed at all, is attributable to parties’ changing political positions. Once these changes are taken into account, the diagnosis of a persistent impact of social divisions prevails.