Party Competition as an Explanation for New Parties’ Decision to Reenter Elections and Electoral Success: A Heckman’s Selection Model of New Parties in Central and Eastern Europe
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This thesis investigates the determinants of reentry and electoral success among new parties that encounter ideological competition from established parties in Central and Eastern Europe. In this part of Europe there is a continuous emergence of new political parties of different ideologies, many of which are considered to represent new or neglected issues. However, new parties do not exclusively introduce new ideologies as they also represent a continuation of mainstream party families and compete on already occupied ideological territories. The thesis aims to understand how competition from established parties affect new parties’ electoral trajectories. Previous research indicates that studies of new party performance may be susceptible to selection bias since the factors influencing new party entry may also affect their electoral success. To correct for potential selection bias, a Heckman’s selection model is applied to data from the Manifesto Project Database and the Parliaments and Governments Database. An analysis of the electoral trajectories of 46 new parties between 2000 and 2020 reveals that new parties face considerable competition from established parties in terms of having similar policy positions. However, the analysis indicates that competition on the social and the economic dimension have different effects on new party reentry and electoral success. Increased competition on the social dimension decreases the probability of reentry, while increased competition on the economic dimension have the opposite effect. Interestingly, when it comes to the electoral success of new parties a reversed pattern can be observed.
PublisherThe University of Bergen
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