Assessing Voters' Perceptions of Political Parties Ideological Positions in Portugal and Greece: the Impact of the 2008 Economic Crisis
VII Congresso da Associação Portuguesa de Ciência Política
Political insatisfaction is deeply related with the performance of political institutions, namely with political parties. Focusing on the understudied topic of voters' perceptions on parties’ ideological positions, the present paper generally seeks to better understand the Portuguese and Greek electorates' perceptions on parties' ideological positions and specifically to assess what might have been changed with the severe economic crisis that hit those countries in the last years. After descriptively analysing Portuguese and Greek voters' attitudes and perceptions on political parties in a longitudinal perspective, the research has two main goals: first, to explore what are the main reasons underlying voters' perceptions on political parties' LR positions, before and after the beginning of the crisis; and second, to understand the relevance of displacement theory: contrast and assimilation effects in this explanation. The analysis uses datasets of the Portuguese and Greek electoral studies and two other projects on representation that allow for a comparison between 2008 and 2012. Findings reveal that political parties exhibit a deepening of polarization in left-right perceptions after the crisis. Displacement effects can be punctually recognized in voters' perceptions of parties LR positions, and evaluations of economic performance have significant correlations with voters' perceptions suggesting its relevance in explaining perceptions' changes after the crisis.
Percepções políticas, ideologia