Political parties, cleavage structures and referendum voting: electoral behaviour in the Portuguese regionalization referendum of 1998
South European Society and Politics
On 8 November 1998, Portugal held its second democratic national referendum. Going against the EU-wide trend for meso-level actors to acquire increasing salience, Portuguese voters overwhelmingly rejected the proposed eight new administrative regions. Portugal thus remains one of the EU's most heavily centralized unitary states. The referendum results are analyzed with both quantitative and qualitative techniques. Using ecological analysis, the degree of association between the party vote in the 1995 legislative elections and the referendum vote is compared. Contextual analysis of the debate is based on over 40 interviews with national and local/regional political elites during summer 1998. While there is a broad consensus in Portugal on the need for decentralization, this has not occurred due to the nature of party conflict, the relative weakness of social and political pressures to decentralize, and the way the government conducted the referendum campaign.
Classificação Fields of Science and Technology
- Ciências Políticas - Ciências Sociais