Hostname: page-component-797576ffbb-xmkxb Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-12-03T14:45:11.667Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

What Makes Parties Adapt to Voter Preferences? The Role of Party Organization, Goals and Ideology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 December 2017


Image of the first page of this content. For PDF version, please use the ‘Save PDF’ preceeding this image.'
Research Note
© Cambridge University Press 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)



University of Zurich (email:; University of Vienna (email: We thank Jim Adams, Simon Bornschier, Moritz Marbach, Thomas Meyer, Roman Senninger and the participants of the University of Zurich publication seminar for excellent feedback on earlier drafts of this article. We would also like to thank Jim Adams, Lawrence Ezrow and Garrett Glasgow for sharing their data and analysis files with us. The excellent feedback from the three anonymous reviewers significantly helped us to improve the quality of this article. All remaining errors are our own. Replication data sets are available in Harvard Dataverse at and online appendices are available at


Adams, James, Clark, Michael, Ezrow, Lawrence, and Glasgow, Garrett. 2006. Are Niche Parties Fundamentally Different from Mainstream Parties? The Causes and the Electoral Consequences of Western European Parties’ Policy Shifts, 1976-1998. American Journal of Political Science 50 (3):513529.Google Scholar
Adams, James, Haupt, Andrea B., and Stoll, Heather. 2008. What Moves Parties?: The Role of Public Opinion and Global Economic Conditions in Western Europe. Comparative Political Studies 42 (5):611639.Google Scholar
Bille, Lars. 2001. Democratizing a Democratic Procedure: Myth or Reality? Party Politics 7 (3):363380.Google Scholar
Bischof, Daniel. 2017. Towards a Renewal of the Niche Party Concept: Parties, Market Shares and Condensed Offers. Party Politics 23 (3):220235.Google Scholar
Bischof, Daniel, and Wagner, Markus. 2017. Replication Data for: What makes parties adapt to voter preferences? The role of party organization, goals and ideology,, Harvard Dataverse, V1.Google Scholar
Brambor, Thomas, Clark, William R., and Golder, Matt. 2005. Understanding Interaction Models: Improving Empirical Analyses. Political Analysis 14 (1):6382.Google Scholar
Budge, Ian, Klingemann, Hans-Dieter, Volkens, Andrea, Bara, Judith, and Tanenbaum, Eric. 2001. Mapping Policy Preferences: Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments, 19451998 . Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
D’Alimonte, Roberto. 1999. Party Behavior in a Polarized System: The Italian Communist Party and the Historic Compromise. In Policy, Office, or Votes? How Political Parties in Western Europe Make Hard Decisions, edited by Wolfgang C. Müller and Kaare Strøm, 141171. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Glasgow, Garrett, Golder, Matt, and Golder, Sona N.. 2011. Who ‘Wins’? Determining the Party of the Prime Minister. American Journal of Political Science 55 (4):937954.Google Scholar
Greene, Zachary. 2016. Competing on the Issues: How Experience in Government and Economic Conditions Influence the Scope of Parties’ Policy Messages. Party Politics 22 (6):809822.Google Scholar
King, Gary, Tomz, Michael, and Wittenberg, Jason. 2000. Making the Most of Statistical Analyses: Improving Interpretation and Presentation. American Journal of Political Science 44 (2):341355.Google Scholar
Kitschelt, Herbert P. 1994. The Transformation of European Social Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Kitschelt, Herbert P., and Freeze, Kent. 2011. Programmatic Party System Structuration: Developing and Comparing Cross-National and Cross-Party Measures with a New Global Data Set, available at, accessed 7 September 2017.Google Scholar
Klingemann, Hans-Dieter, Volkens, Andrea, Bara, Judith L., Budge, Ian, and McDonald, Michael D.. 2006. Mapping Policy Preferences II – Estimates for Parties, Electors, and Governments in Eastern Europe, European Union, and OECD 1990-2003. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Laver, Michael, and Hunt, W. Ben. 1992. Policy and Party Competition. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Lehrer, Ron. 2012. Intra-Party Democracy and Party Responsiveness. West European Politics 35 (6):12951319.Google Scholar
Lundell, Krister. 2004. Determinants of Candidate Selection: The Degree of Centralization in Comparative Perspective. Party Politics 10 (1):2547.Google Scholar
Meguid, Bonnie M. 2005. Competition Between Unequals: The Role of Mainstream Party Strategy in Niche Party Success. American Political Science Review 99 (3):347359.Google Scholar
Merz, Nicolas, Regel, Sven, and Lewandowski, Jirka. 2016. The Manifesto Corpus: A New Resource for Research on Political Parties and Quantitative Text Analysis. Research & Politics 3 (2):18.Google Scholar
Meyer, Thomas M. 2013. Constraints on Party Policy Change. Colchester: ECPR Press.Google Scholar
Meyer, Thomas M., and Miller, Bernhard. 2015. The Niche Party Concept and its Measurement. Party Politics 21 (2):259271.Google Scholar
Norris, Pippa. 1995. May’s Law of Curvilinear Disparity Revisited: Leaders, Officers, Members and Voters in British Political Parties. Party Politics 1 (1):2947.Google Scholar
Pedersen, Helene Helboe. 2012. Policy-Seeking Parties in Multiparty Systems: Influence or Purity? Party Politics 18 (3):297314.Google Scholar
Przeworski, Adam, and Sprague, John. 1986. Paper Stones: A History of Electoral Socialism. Chicago, IL: Chicago University Press.Google Scholar
Rohrschneider, Robert, and Whitefield, Stephen. 2012. The Strain of Representation: How Parties Represent Diverse Voters in Western and Eastern Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Schumacher, Gijs. 2015. When Does the Left Do the Right Thing? A Study of Party Position Change on Welfare Policies. Party Politics 21 (1):6879.Google Scholar
Schumacher, Gijs, and Giger, Nathalie. 2017. Who Leads the Party? On Membership Size, Selectorates and Party Oligarchy. Political Studies 61 (1S):162181.Google Scholar
Schumacher, Gijs, Vries, Catherine E. de, and Vis, Barbara. 2013. Why Do Parties Change Position? Party Organization and Environmental Incentives. Journal of Politics 75 (2):464477.Google Scholar
Volkens, Andrea, Lacewell, Onawa, Lehmann, Pola R., Schultze, Sven, and Werner, Annika Henrike. 2012. The Manifesto Data Collection.Google Scholar
Wagner, Markus. 2012. Defining and Measuring Niche Parties. Party Politics 18 (6):845864.Google Scholar
Wagner, Markus, and Meyer, Thomas M.. 2014. Which Issues Do Parties Emphasise? Salience Strategies and Party Organisation in Multiparty Systems. West European Politics 37 (5):10191045.Google Scholar
Supplementary material: Link

Bischof and Wagner Dataset

Supplementary material: PDF

Bischof and Wagner supplementary material 1


Download Bischof and Wagner supplementary material 1(PDF)
PDF 354 KB