Prime ministers in the age of austerity: The importance of leaders in Portuguese elections 2002-2015

GT 6.6 El voto económico en las postrimerías de la Gran Recesión

Marina Costa Lobo (U de Lisboa)
Sesión 1
Día: viernes,22 de septiembre de 2017
Hora: 09:00 a 11:00
Lugar: Seminario 0.2.

This article provides the first longitudinal assessment of the importance of leaders for voting behaviour in Portugal, gathering election studies covering a period of thirteen years in which five elections were held between 2002 and 2015, and seeks to explain that trend considering both economic perceptions as well as party identification. 

The data analysed here allows us to contribute to the literature which examines the personalisation thesis, the importance of ideology for explaining (differential) leader effects; as well as exploring the connections between economic perceptions, party identification and leader effects. At the same time, we are providing not only a longitudinal measure of leader effects in Portugal over a period of thirteen years, but an explanation for that change by selecting as key intervening variables the economic perceptions and party attachments.

The article is organised in the following way: in the first section we discuss the current state of the art of studies measuring leader effects, with a particular focus on the Portuguese context, and the literature on personalisation, economic perceptions, and party attachments. Next, we briefly present the data used in the article, together with the innovative analytical strategy. The following section presents some descriptive statistics in order to contextualise the Portuguese party leaders, economic perceptions and party attachments during this period before moving to the analysis of the results. Finally, we discuss these results and their implications concerning the importance of leader effects in young democracies in the age of austerity.

Palabras clave: Leader effects- Economic Voting- Portugal 2002-2015