Changes in electoral politics in contemporary democracies have contributed to shifting the focus of research from parties to individual candidates. The 2013 Italian Candidate Survey (ICS) has collected original survey data with the aim of gaining new insights into the role of political elites, looking in particular at the candidates running for office in the last Italian general election. Based on interviews with individual candidates, the ICS provides a tool for analysing party members; and for comparing them with voters in several ways. In this paper, we spell out the main features of our research that was conducted within the framework of a larger project that examined political representation in Italy between 2013 and 2015. Moreover, we offer three examples of potential applications of ICS data. First, we present a model of political representation favoured by Italian candidates that matches with a well-known typology of political representation. Second, we utilize our ICS data to estimate candidates’ policy preferences and to assess the level of congruence with their voters. Finally, by comparing the distribution of candidates’ self-placements and their own party mean position on the left-right scale, we show how our data can be used to explore intra-party cohesion.

Candidates in 2013 Italian general election: evidence from the Italian Candidate Survey

PINTO, LUCA
2015

Abstract

Changes in electoral politics in contemporary democracies have contributed to shifting the focus of research from parties to individual candidates. The 2013 Italian Candidate Survey (ICS) has collected original survey data with the aim of gaining new insights into the role of political elites, looking in particular at the candidates running for office in the last Italian general election. Based on interviews with individual candidates, the ICS provides a tool for analysing party members; and for comparing them with voters in several ways. In this paper, we spell out the main features of our research that was conducted within the framework of a larger project that examined political representation in Italy between 2013 and 2015. Moreover, we offer three examples of potential applications of ICS data. First, we present a model of political representation favoured by Italian candidates that matches with a well-known typology of political representation. Second, we utilize our ICS data to estimate candidates’ policy preferences and to assess the level of congruence with their voters. Finally, by comparing the distribution of candidates’ self-placements and their own party mean position on the left-right scale, we show how our data can be used to explore intra-party cohesion.
Italian Candidate Survey; Comparative Candidate Survey; elite surveys; political representation; policy congruence; party cohesion
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11384/60931
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