Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Floating Voters and the Rise of New Left Parties: Electoral Volatility During Party System Transformation

  • Thomas Mustillo (a1)

Abstract

Volatility is a central theme of the scholarship on party competition. At the extreme, entire systems collapse. Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela each went through a protracted period of change with the crash of old parties and the rise of new ones, including one representing the “new left.” Average electoral volatility grew by more than 50 percent and remained high for a decade or more. Can this churning surface of party death, birth, and change obscure undercurrents of stabilization in individual voting behavior? This project decomposes electoral volatility into two subtypes: system-level volatility—long-term spatial and temporal trends of change in support (e.g., realignment)—and individual volatility—fluid and cycle-specific fluctuations in support (e. g., electoral swing). It shows that the high volatility through the transformation has been at the system level, not the individual level. The cause is the stronger partisan and ethnic bonds mobilized by the new left.

Copyright

Corresponding author

References

Hide All
Bartolini, Stefano, and Mair, Peter. 1990. Identity, Competition, and Electoral Availability: The Stabilisation of European Electorates, 1885–1985. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Becker, Marc. 2013. The Stormy Relations Between Rafael Correa and Social Movements in Ecuador. Latin American Perspectives 40, 3: 4362.
Birnir, Jóhanna Kristín. 2007. Ethnicity and Electoral Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Brady, David W., D’Onofrio, Robert, and Fiorina, Morris P.. 2000. The Nationalization of Electoral Forces Revisited. In Continuity and Change in House Elections, ed. Brady, John F. Cogan, and Fiorina. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 130148.
Bruhn, Kathleen. 1997. Taking on Goliath: The Emergence of a New Left Party and the Struggle for Democracy in Mexico. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Cain, Bruce, Ferejohn, John, and Fiorina, Morris. 1987. The Personal Vote: Constituency Service and Electoral Independence. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Campbell, Angus, Converse, Philip E., Miller, Warren E., and Stokes, Donald E.. 1960. The American Voter. New York: Wiley.
Caramani, Daniele. 2004. The Nationalization of Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Carey, John, and Shugart, Matthew Soberg. 1995. Incentives to Cultivate a Personal Vote: A Rank Ordering of Electoral Formulas. Electoral Studies 14, 4: 417439.
Carreras, Miguel. 2012. Party Systems in Latin America After the Third Wave: A Critical Re-Assessment. Journal of Politics in Latin America 4, 1: 135153.
Carreras, Miguel, Morgenstern, Scott, and Su, Yen-Pin. 2015. Refining the Theory of Partisan Alignments: Evidence from Latin America. Party Politics 21, 5: 671685.
Centellas, Miguel. 2009. Electoral Reform, Regional Cleavages, and Party System Stability in Bolivia. Journal of Politics in Latin America 1, 2: 115131.
Centellas, Miguel. 2015. The 2014 Presidential and Legislative Elections in Bolivia. Electoral Studies 38: 82136.
Chhibber, Pradeep, and Kollman, Ken. 2004. The Formation of National Party Systems: Federalism and Party Competition in Canada, Great Britain, India, and the United States. Princeton: Princeton University Press.
Conaghan, Catherine M. 1995. Politicians Against Parties: Discord and Disconnection in Ecuador’s Party System. In Building Democratic Institutions: Party Systems in Latin America, ed. Timothy R. Scully and Scott Mainwaring. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 434458.
Conaghan, Catherine, and de la Torre, Carlos. 2008. The Permanent Campaign of Rafael Correa: Making Ecuador’s Plebiscitary Presidency. International Journal of Press/Politics 13, 3: 267284.
Converse, Philip E. 1966. The Concept of a Normal Vote. In Elections and the Political Order, ed. Angus Campbell, Converse, Warren E. Miller, and Donald E. Stokes. New York: Wiley. 939.
Coppedge, Michael. 1994. Strong Parties and Lame Ducks: Presidential Partyarchy and Factionalism in Venezuela. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Dalton, Russell J., Beck, Paul Allen, and Flanagan, Scott C.. 1984. Electoral Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies. In Electoral Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies: Realignment or Dealignment? ed. Dalton, Flanagan, and Beck. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 324.
De la Torre, Carlos. 2000. Populist Seduction in Latin America: The Ecuadorian Experience. Athens, OH: Center for International Studies, Ohio University.
De la Torre, Carlos. 2010. ¿Más allá de la democracia representativa procedimental? Ecuador Debate 80: 4562.
De la Torre, Carlos, and Conaghan, Catherine. 2009. The Hybrid Campaign: Tradition and Modernity in Ecuador’s 2006 Presidential Election. International Journal of Press/Politics 14, 3: 335352.
Duverger, Maurice. 1954. Political Parties: Their Organization and Activity in the Modern State. New York: Wiley.
Ellner, Steve. 2008. Rethinking Venezuelan Politics: Class, Conflict, and the Chávez Phenomenon. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.
Ellner, Steve. 2012. The Distinguishing Features of Latin America’s New Left in Power: The Chávez, Morales, and Correa Governments. Latin American Perspectives 39, 1: 96114.
Haughton, Tim, and Deegan-Krause, Kevin. 2015. Hurricane Season: Systems of Instability in Central and East European Party Politics. East European Politics and Societies 29, 1: 6180.
Hawkins, Kirk A. 2003. Populism in Venezuela: The Rise of Chavismo. Third World Quarterly 24, 6: 11371160.
Hawkins, Kirk A. 2010. Venezuela’s Chavismo and Populism in Comparative Perspective. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Hawkins, Kirk A., and Hansen, David R.. 2006. Dependent Civil Society: The Círculos Bolivarianos in Venezuela. Latin American Research Review 41, 1: 102132.
Jones, Mark P., and Mainwaring, Scott. 2003. The Nationalization of Parties and Party Systems: An Empirical Measure and an Application to the Americas. Party Politics 9, 2: 139166.
Kitschelt, Herbert, Hawkins, Kirk A., Luna, Juan Pablo, Rosas, Guillermo, and Zechmeister, Elizabeth J.. 2010. Latin American Party Systems. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Levitsky, Steven, and Loxton, James. 2013. Populism and Competitive Authoritarianism in the Andes. Democratization 20, 1: 107136.
Levitsky, Steven, and Roberts, Kenneth M.. 2013. The Resurgence of the Latin American Left. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
Luna, Juan Pablo. 2007. Frente Amplio and the Crafting of a Social Democratic Alternative in Uruguay. Latin American Politics and Society 49, 4: 130.
Luna, Juan Pablo, and Zechmeister, Elizabeth J.. 2005. Political Representation in Latin America: A Study of Elite-Mass Congruence in Nine Countries. Comparative Political Studies 38, 4: 388416.
Lupu, Noam. 2016. Party Brands in Crisis: Partisanship, Brand Dilution, and the Breakdown of Political Parties in Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Madrid, Raúl L. 2005a. Ethnic Cleavages and Electoral Volatility in Latin America. Comparative Politics 38, 1: 120.
Madrid, Raúl L. 2005b. Indigenous Parties and Democracy in Latin America. Latin American Politics and Society 47, 4: 161179.
Madrid, Raúl L. 2005c. Indigenous Voters and Party System Fragmentation in Latin America. Electoral Studies 24: 689707.
Madrid, Raúl L. 2009. The Origins of the Two Lefts in Latin America. Political Science Quarterly 125, 4: 123.
Madrid, Raúl L. 2012. The Rise of Ethnic Politics in Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mainwaring, Scott, and Scully, Timothy R.. 1995. Introduction: Party Systems in Latin America. In Building Democratic Institutions: Party Systems in Latin America, ed. Mainwaring and Scully. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 134.
Mainwaring, Scott, Bejarano, Ana María, and Leongómez, Eduardo Pizarro. 2006. The Crisis of Democratic Representation in the Andes. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Morgan, Jana. 2007. Partisanship During the Collapse of Venezuela’s Party System. Latin American Research Review 42, 1: 7898.
Morgan, Jana. 2011. Bankrupt Representation and Party System Collapse. University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press.
Morgenstern, Scott. 2017. Are Politics Local? The Two Dimensions of Party Nationalization Around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Morgenstern, Scott, and Potthoff, Richard F.. 2005. The Components of Elections: District Heterogeneity, District-Time Effects, and Volatility. Electoral Studies 24: 1740.
Morgenstern, Scott, and Swindle, Stephen M.. 2005. Are Politics Local? An Analysis of Voting Patterns in 23 Democracies. Comparative Political Studies 38, 2: 143170.
Morgenstern, Scott, Polga-Hecimovich, John, and Siavelis, Peter. 2014. Seven Imperatives for Improving the Measurement of Party Nationalization, with Evidence from Chile. Electoral Studies 33: 186199.
Morgenstern, Scott, Swindle, Stephen M., and Castagnola, Andrea. 2009. Party Nationalization and Institutions. Journal of Politics 71, 4: 13221341.
Mustillo, Thomas. 2017. Party Nationalization Following Democratization: Modeling Change in Turbulent Times. Democratization 24, 6: 929950.
Mustillo, Thomas, and Mustillo, Sarah A.. 2012. Party Nationalization in a Multilevel Context: Where’s the Variance? Electoral Studies 31, 2: 422433.
Mustillo, Thomas, and Jung, Yoo Sun. 2016. Distinguishing Territorial Structure from Electoral Adventurism: The Sources of Static and Dynamic Nationalization. Electoral Studies 44: 341350.
Nardulli, Peter F. 1995. The Concept of a Critical Realignment, Electoral Behavior, and Political Change. American Political Science Review 89, 1: 1022.
Pedersen, Mogens. 1979. The Dynamics of European Party Systems: Changing Patterns of Electoral Volatility. European Journal of Political Research 7, 1: 126.
Roberts, Kenneth M. 2003. Social Correlates of Party System Demise and Populist Resurgence in Venezuela. Latin American Politics and Society 45, 3: 35.
Roberts, Kenneth M. 2006. Populism, Political Conflict, and Grass-Roots Organization in Latin America. Comparative Politics 38, 2: 127148.
Roberts, Kenneth M. 2014. Changing Course in Latin America: Party Systems in the Neoliberal Era. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Seawright, Jason. 2012. Party-System Collapse: The Roots of Crisis in Peru and Venezuela. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
Singer, Judith D., and Willett, John B.. 2003. Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis: Modeling Change and Event Occurrence. New York: Oxford University Press.
Stokes, Donald E. 1965. A Variance Components Model of Political Effects. In Mathematical Applications in Political Science, ed. John M. Claunch. Conference on Mathematical Applications in Political Science. Dallas: Arnold Foundation, Southern Methodist University. 6185.
Stokes, Donald E. 1967. Parties and the Nationalization of Electoral Forces. In The American Party Systems: States of Political Development, ed. William N. Chambers and Walter D. Burnham. New York: Oxford University Press. 182202.
Van Cott, Donna Lee. 2005. From Movements to Parties in Latin America: The Evolution of Ethnic Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Latin American Politics and Society
  • ISSN: 1531-426X
  • EISSN: 1548-2456
  • URL: /core/journals/latin-american-politics-and-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Keywords

Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Mustillo Dataset
Dataset

 Unknown
WORD
Supplementary materials

Mustillo supplementary material
Mustillo supplementary material 1

 Word (73 KB)
73 KB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed