A Conservative Revolution: The electoral response to economic crisis in Ireland

Published in Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 2014

Recommended citation: Michael Marsh and Slava Jankin Mikhaylov (2014). "A Conservative Revolution: The electoral response to economic crisis in Ireland." Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties, 24(2): 160-179.

The 2011 election in Ireland was one of the most dramatic elections in European post-war history in terms of net electoral volatility. In some respects the election overturned the traditional party system. Yet it was a conservative revolution, one in which the main players remained the same, and the switch in the major government party was merely one in which one centre right party replaced another. Comparing voting behaviour over the last three elections we show that the 2011 election looks much like that of 2002 and 2007. The crisis did not result in the redefinition of the electoral landscape. While we find clear evidence of economic voting at the 2011 election, issue voting remained week. We believe that this is due to the fact that parties have not offered clear policy alternatives to the electorate in the recent past and did not do so in 2011.

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