Patrimonial Economic Voting in French Legislative Elections
West European Politics
GB : Routledge
1261 - 1277 p.
Patrimonial economic voting has been neglected in favour of classical economic voting studies. This assertion holds less, however, with French election investigations, where the neglect is relative rather than absolute. Whereas classical economic voting holds the economy to be a valence issue, patrimonial economic voting regards the economy as a positional issue. Voters who own more property, in particular high-risk assets, are held to be more right-wing in their political preferences. This patrimonial effect shows itself to be statistically and substantively strong in one of the few election data-sets with sufficient measures available – surveys on the National Assembly contests of 1978, 1988, 2002. The electoral effect exceeds that from the traditional ‘heavy variables’ of class and income. Moreover, further work might show its impact comparable to that of classic sociotropic retrospective evaluations of the national economy. Certainly a case can be made for further study of patrimonial economic voting, as compared to classical economic voting.