Where is my party?

Party position-taking between elections and its consequences for party performance

For elections to work effectively as instruments of democracy, at least two conditions need to be met. Citizens both require sufficient knowledge about the policy positions of parties, and they need to know whether political parties stay true to their announced positions after the election. It is by no means clear that these two conditions hold in practice. We will address the second of the above-mentioned requirements. The central research questions are (1) whether parties stay true to their campaign-time positions after election day and (2) if not, whether they are punished for doing so. To arrive at empirically grounded answers, we will analyse parties’ between-election position-taking based on the press releases they issue, and examine the consequences of their behaviour for their performance as reflected in opinion polls and second-order elections.