Why Parties Narrow their Representative Profile: Evidence from Six European Democracies

Nicole Bolleyer*, Patricia Correa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


In this paper, we analyse under which conditions political parties narrow their representative profile defined by the scope of the issues or the constituencies they represent. This strategy has been neglected in the party literature mainly focused on the adoption of catch all strategies among mainstream parties or the tendency to stick to core issues among niche parties. In this paper, we develop a theoretical framework that includes central external and internal drivers of party change and we empirically test it using novel survey data covering 121 parties across six European democracies: United Kingdom, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Ireland. Our findings highlight that adopting a narrow strategy is more likely after an electoral defeat and less likely among parties that give members a say over policy and among niche parties.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPolitische Vierteljahresschrift
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 3 Feb 2020


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