Policy Congruence and Style of Representation: Party Voters and Political Parties

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21 Citations (Scopus)


This article focuses on whether styles of representation influence policy congruence. Style of representation is defined at the party level as the proportion of representatives within parties who are partisans, delegates or trustees. Policy congruence refers to how close on the left-right scale the mean position of a party as placed by its candidates is compared to that of party voters. The article concludes that where there are higher proportions of trustees within parties, there is a greater degree of policy congruence, whereas a higher proportion of partisans results in less policy congruence. The proportion of delegates has no significant impact on congruence after taking account of other party and country measures. This indicates that party constraints on representatives are applied at the cost of congruence with voters, and that when representatives enjoy more flexibility to follow their own opinions, the party displays greater congruence with its own voters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-563
Number of pages26
JournalWest European Politics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2014


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