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Shared Partisanship, Household Norms and Turnout: Testing a Relational Theory of Electoral Participation

  • Edward Fieldhouse and David Cutts
Abstract

Previous research shows that the household context is a crucial source of influence on turnout. This article sets out a relational theory of voting in which turnout is dependent on the existence of relational selective consumption benefits. The study provides empirical tests of key elements of the proposed model using household survey data from Great Britain. First, building on expressive theories of voting, it examines the extent to which shared partisan identification enhances turnout. Secondly, extending theories of voting as a social norm, it tests whether the civic norms of citizens’ families or households affect turnout over and above the social norms of the individual. In accordance with expectations of expressive theories of voting, it finds that having a shared party identification with other members of the household increases turnout. It also finds that the civic duty of other household members is important in explaining turnout, even when allowing for respondent’s civic duty.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester (email: ed.fieldhouse@manchester.ac.uk); Department of Politics, Languages and International Relations, University of Bath (email: djc54@bath.ac.uk). Professor Fieldhouse’s involvement in this research was supported by ESRC research grant ES/L005166/1. Data replication sets are available at http://dataverse.harvard.edu/dataverse/BJPolS and online appendices are available at http://dx.doi.org/doi:10.1017/S0007123416000089.

Footnotes
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British Journal of Political Science
  • ISSN: 0007-1234
  • EISSN: 1469-2112
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