Ideology, Partisanship, and Change: Voter Profiles of Main Political Parties in Croatia

Original scientific paper
https://doi.org/10.20901/pm.56.3-4.01

Višeslav Raos ; Faculty of Political Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia

Fulltext: english, pdf (364 KB) pages 7-28 cite

Abstracts
This paper analyzes changes in the Croatian party system in the 1990-2016 period by looking at trends in the ideological makeup of voters of the main center-right (HDZ) and center-left (SDP) parties. An assessment of changes in voter self-placement on a left-right scale has shown a gradual increase in the ideological distance among voters of these parties. Further, the paper detected a trend towards an increase in the share of self-declared far-right voters among HDZ voters and far-left voters among SDP voters. In addition, an analysis of categorical ideological identification has demonstrated that, on average, two thirds of HDZ voters were Christian Democrats, while two thirds of SDP voters were Social Democrats. However, among all Christian Democrats, an average of 55 percent voted for the HDZ, while just shy of 60 percent of Social Democrats voted for the SDP. Finally, a logistic regression analysis has confirmed the importance of the cultural dimension of voter behavior in Croatia. Religiosity levels, as well as left-right self-placement serve as rather good predictors of a vote for the HDZ and the SDP, with the model showing greater explanatory strength for HDZ voters. In conclusion, the observed trends in ideological characteristics of HDZ and SDP voters could serve as pointers of underlying shifts in patterns of party competition and offer clues to the increased instability of the Croatian party system following the 2015 and 2016 parliamentary elections.

Keywords
Left-Right Self-Placement; Voter Behavior; Voter Ideology; Partisanship; Croatia

Hrčak ID: 235359

URI
https://hrcak.srce.hr/235359