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The Electoral Impact of Austerity

Can governments that introduce extreme austerity measures survive elections?  Contrary to economic voting expectations, the PASOK government in Greece  initially  appeared to cope quite well, claiming victory in regional elections in  2010  despite  widespread  anti-austerity  protest.


In a forthcoming article in Political Studies, we  interpret this result   with the help of a post-election survey, which also covered future voting intention. The  explanatory power of models based on theories of economic voting and blame attribution  as well as the electoral impact of the government’s representation  of the crisis  as an existential threat are assessed.  


Our analysis challenges the interpretation of the 2010 election as an indication of support  for PASOK’s austerity policies and reveals weaknesses in its support base, which help contextualise  its downfall in the 2012 Parliamentary elections. The paper also underlines the importance of studying the  impact  of crises discourses on voting choice, particularly since blame attribution receives little support in this case.


A pre-publication copy of the article is available for download here.


We also conducted a post-election survey in June 2012, as well as an elite survey of Greek MPs in July 2013. Drawing on these, we analysed the levels of congruence on ideology and issue-preferences. You can read the article published in South European Society and Politics here.



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