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The rhyme and reason of rebel support: exploring European voters’ attitudes toward dissident MPs


Duell, Dominik; Kaftan, Lea; Proksch, Sven-Oliver; Slapin, Jonathan; Wratil, Christopher (2023). The rhyme and reason of rebel support: exploring European voters’ attitudes toward dissident MPs. Political Science Research and Methods, (26):1-17.

Abstract

Citizens often support politicians who vote against their parties in parliament. They view rebels as offering better representation, appreciate expressive acts, take rebellion as a signal of standing up for constituents, or see rebels as defending their moral convictions. Each explanation has different implications for representation, but they have not yet been tested systematically against one another. We implement survey experiments on nationally representative samples in the UK, Germany, France, and Italy to assess whether voters treat rebellion as a cue for better representation or infer positive character traits implying a valence advantage. Policy congruence does not drive voters’ preference for rebels. However, voters do associate positive traits with rebel MPs, even if they do not feel better represented by them.

Abstract

Citizens often support politicians who vote against their parties in parliament. They view rebels as offering better representation, appreciate expressive acts, take rebellion as a signal of standing up for constituents, or see rebels as defending their moral convictions. Each explanation has different implications for representation, but they have not yet been tested systematically against one another. We implement survey experiments on nationally representative samples in the UK, Germany, France, and Italy to assess whether voters treat rebellion as a cue for better representation or infer positive character traits implying a valence advantage. Policy congruence does not drive voters’ preference for rebels. However, voters do associate positive traits with rebel MPs, even if they do not feel better represented by them.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Political Science
Dewey Decimal Classification:320 Political science
Uncontrolled Keywords:Political Science and International Relations, Sociology and Political Science
Language:English
Date:9 August 2023
Deposited On:18 Aug 2023 09:47
Last Modified:30 Mar 2024 04:32
Publisher:Cambridge University Press
ISSN:2049-8470
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2023.26
Project Information:
  • : FunderFritz Thyssen Stiftung
  • : Grant ID
  • : Project TitleRebels in Representative Democracy: The Appeal and Consequences of Political Defection in Europe.”
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)