April 6, 2016
While previous research on the reciprocal effects of citizens’ issue attitudes and their party support emphasize citizens’ issue positions, political competition revolves equally around issue salience – that is, debates over which issue areas political parties should prioritize. Using multi-wave panel survey data from Germany and Great Britain, this study analyzes the reciprocal effects of citizens’ issue salience and their party support, and concludes that citizens’ issue priorities both influence and are influenced by their party attachments and, moreover, that these effects are linked to parties’ long-term associative issue ownership. This effect is strongest among supporters of a small issue-orientated niche party, the German Greens.
British Journal of Political Science