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The Base of Party Political Support in Ireland: A New Approach


  • David Madden

    (University College Dublin)


Party politics in Ireland has been characterised as politics without a social base. This paper calculates political concentration indices for party support in Ireland showing how support for a particular party is concentrated according to identifiable dimensions such as income, education and age. Using data from the European Social Survey, these indices are calculated with respect to elections in 2002, 2007 and 2011. There is evidence of a clear social base emerging after the 2011 election with support for the Fine Gael party concentrated amongst the older, richer and more educated, while support for Sinn Féin is concentrated amongst the younger, lower income and less educated. Preliminary data from the 2016 election are consistent with these developments.

Suggested Citation

  • David Madden, 2018. "The Base of Party Political Support in Ireland: A New Approach," The Economic and Social Review, Economic and Social Studies, vol. 49(1), pages 17-44.
  • Handle: RePEc:eso:journl:v:49:y:2018:i:1:p:17-44

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Himmelweit, Hilde T. & Biberian, Marianne Jaeger & Stockdale, Janet, 1978. "Memory for Past Vote: Implications of a Study of Bias in Recall," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 8(3), pages 365-375, July.
    2. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index: A reply to Wagstaff," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 521-524, March.
    3. Erreygers, Guido, 2009. "Correcting the Concentration Index," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 504-515, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. David (David Patrick) Madden, 2019. "The Base of Party Political Support in Ireland: An Update," Working Papers 201915, School of Economics, University College Dublin.

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    political parties; election; Ireland;


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