Who Votes for Anti-Corruption Parties? The Emergence of a New Party Family, Andreas Bågenholm and Nicholas Charron, QoG Working Paper Series 2020:11


Corruption and issues related to quality of government are becoming increasingly salient to both voters and parties all around the globe. One indication of that is the steady increase in the number of electoral campaigns in which corruption is politicized by parties and candidates (Bågenholm & Charron, 2014; Curini, 2018). Whereas a lot of attention recently has been paid to the phenomenon of corruption voting, i.e. the extent to which the electorate is holding corrupt politicians and parties accountable by ‘voting such rascals out’, considerably less research has been done on the supply side of this equation, namely the parties that campaign on fighting corruption. Surprisingly enough, even recent research on party categorization has ignored the issue of corruption. This paper aims at filling this gap by asking if – from a voter perspective – valence parties that specifically focus on anti-corruption can be considered a distinct type of party. To answer this question we analyze data from the latest round of the QoG Regional Survey from 2017, which covers 21 European countries, comparing ACP supporters with supporters of other party families. Preliminary results suggest that ACP voters in some respects are distinct both demographically and attitudinally from the voters of other party families, which suggest that it is reasonable to argue that anti-corruption parties are a distinct type of party, or at least not less distinct than parties.

Survival of the fittest. Comparing entry and exit among niche and mainstream parties in advanced democracies, 1945–2011. M van de Wardt, J Berkhout, F Vermeulen – Electoral Studies, 2021



The turnover of political parties is a key mechanism of renewal of electoral choices. We present an organizational ecological theory on party system change, predicting that party system saturation (i.e., the effective number of parties compared to the party system’s carrying capacity) differently affects the entry and exit of niche and mainstream parties from lower house elections. Pooled times-series analyses on 352 elections, 509 parties, and 21 established democracies demonstrate that party system saturation indeed increases the likelihood of exit of mainstream parties but not of niche parties. Strikingly, we also find that party system saturation increases the entry of mainstream parties. Hence, an important paradox arises since oversaturation negatively affects their survival chances.