Irish National Election Study 2002 - 2007


Publications section is divided into two parts - first group of publications is based exclusively on the 2002 Irish Election Study, while second group lists publications based on the full five-wave panel study.

Publications based on 2002 Irish Election Study

The Irish Voter : The nature of electoral competition in the Republic of Ireland (pdf)
Michael Marsh, Richard Sinnott, John Garry and Fiachra Kennedy
This is a major book on the 2002 election study and was published by Manchester University Press in March 2008.
A review by Professor R. K Carty published in Political Studies. (pdf)
A review by Niamh Purséil in The Irish Times.
An insecure anchor for a floating party system: party identification in Ireland (pdf)
Michael Marsh
Originally presented at the 2003 ECPR Joint Sessions in Edinburgh, this was published in Electoral Studies 25(3) 2006, 489-508. It examines how strong and widespread party identification is in Ireland today. It explores how identification is related to the vote: can it be separated from the vote empirically as well as conceptually? How identifiers see the party world: is it in black and white terms or are there shades of grey? Finally it examines the roots of party attachment, and voting behaviour, in the family.
None of that post-modern stuff around here: grassroots campaigning in the 2002 Irish general election (pdf)
Michael Marsh
Originally presented at the EPOP Conference in Cardiff in Sept 2003, this was published in Vol 14 of the British Elections and Parties Yearbook, 2004. It explores the extent of grass-roots campaigning in Ireland using evidence from the 2002 Irish election study. It describes a very extensive system of door-to-door campaigning carried out both by the candidates themselves and by teams of party workers with around four fifths of voters reporting that contact was made with their home. This is very unusual in modern democracies. There remains some doubt, however, about whether such campaigning matters in the modern era. This article demonstrates strong links between vote choice and contact, with association evident between lower preferences and contact as well as first preferences and contact. Significant associations remain even when controls are introduced for political predispositions and it is suggested that this provides good evidence for the argument that personal campaigning, and in particular campaigning by the candidates themselves, matters in Irish general elections.
Candidates or Parties? Objects of Electoral Choice in Ireland (pdf)
Michael Marsh
This paper was first presented at APSA 2003 and published in the journal Party Politics 13(4), 2007, 500-527. Under many electoral systems voters can choose between candidates and under some, between candidates of the same party, a situation that makes it possible for candidates to seek a personal vote. Studies of particular countries have shown how personal voting is apparent in the success of particular types of candidates, notably incumbents, but there is little systematic study of personal motives among the electors themselves. The single transferable vote system used in Ireland certainly allows electors to choose between candidates as well as parties and so is seen to provide a strong incentive for candidates to seek personal votes. While aggregate evidence from election results has pointed to the primary importance of party, survey data has suggested that close to a majority of voters are primarily candidate centred. This article uses an extensive set of instruments contained in the 2002 Irish election study to explore the extent to which voters decide on candidate-centred factors as opposed to party-centred ones. It shows that a substantial minority do decide on the basis of candidate factors, and typical models of Irish electoral behaviour have not accommodated the heterogeneity that results from this mix of motives. However, direct questions about motives probably underestimate the extent of party-centred voting.
Taking the credit and avoiding the blame: parties and voting behaviour in Ireland 2002 (pdf)
Michael Marsh and Fiachra Kennedy
Paper presented at 2003 Conference of the ECPR, Marburg Sept 18-21, 2003 Panel 14: Current issues in voting behaviour at mass elections, Session 4: Credit and Blame. Irish voters are apparently moved by issues of competence if not by issues of position. The party system does not lend itself to articulating major policy debates, because the major parties lack strong ideological or even social identities, but its adversarial nature does allow and encourage voters to play the significant role of assessing governments on performance and the evidence here suggests that, while the government parties were not seen as successful in all they did, they nevertheless got the nod to continue for another few years.
Stability and Change in the Structure of Electoral Competition, 1989-2002 (pdf)
Michael Marsh
This is an analysis of the party utility questions used in the election study and the previous social and political survey carried out by the same team. It uses these questions to explore the changing nature and extent of party competition in Ireland and shows that, while competition is extensive, it does have an underlying structure in which SF lies at one extreme and FF at the other. This paper is published as part of a general volume on the social and political survey: John Garry, Niamh Hardiman and Diane Payne (eds), Irish Social and Political Attitudes, pp.78-93. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2006.
Candidates or Parties? Objects of Electoral Choice in Ireland (pdf)
Ken Benoit and Michael Laver
Abstract: In this note we map the Irish policy space, locating both voters and parties on the most salient policy dimensions in Ireland. Estimates of the voter locations are based on the Irish National Election Survey. Estimates of the party positions are based on an expert survey of party positions conducted by the authors in late 2002. We show that respondent self-placements on a priori policy scales are highly biased and difficult to interpret, and we rely instead on building scale positions for respondents from their answers to relevant attitude questions in the INES. The results provide a methodological template for locating voters and parties in a common space - a significant problem for any analyst who wants to create an empirical elaboration of a spatial model of party competition. It is published in the Economic and Social Review Vol. 36, No. 2, Summer/Autumn, 2005, pp. 83 - 108
The Voters (doc)
Michael Laver
This chapter on Irish electoral behaviour summarises some of the results from the INES. It is published as part of the market leading textbook on Irish Politics: John Coakley and Michael Gallagher eds. Politics in the Republic of Ireland, London: Routledge 2005.
Candidate Gender and Voter Choice: Analysis from a Multimember Preferential Voting System (pdf)
Gail McElroy and Michael Marsh
Women are greatly underrepresented in elected office. A large literature on the subject has considerably advanced our understanding of this phenomenon, but many questions remain unanswered. Using original aggregate and individual- level data, the authors explore the interplay of candidate gender, partisanship, incumbency, and campaign spending in a multimember preferential voting system. This setting allows unparalleled exploration of the heterogeneous nature of voter decision making. The authors find little evidence for an independent effect of candidate gender on voter choice. Voters do not discriminate against women even in an electoral environment that affords them this opportunity without any cost to their partisan preferences.

Publications based on Irish Election Panel Study 2002-2007

Missing Voters, Missing Data: Using Multiple Imputation to Estimate the Effects of Low Turnout (doc)
Patrick Bernhagen and Michael Marsh
This paper will appear in the Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties in late 2010
Abstract: In recent years, different methods have been proposed to estimate the political effects of low voter turnout. This article contributes to the discussion by assessing the performance of multiple imputation in estimating the partisan effects of low turnout. Using the 2002 Irish General Election as a case study, we demonstrate how multiple imputation can be used to fill in the vote choices of non-voters. We verify simulations and reported turnout against official data and compare the results to those from alternative, maximum likelihood methods. While the methods differ in their ability to simulate vote choice correctly, these differences are generally not large enough to affect the counterfactual estimation of election results under universal turnout. To asses the generality of this finding, we also compare the different methods across 30 elections in the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems dataset. Multiple imputation produces on average higher turnout effects than multinomial logit methods and the differences increase as turnout goes down. System variables such as the number of parties do not affect the differences in results between methods.


The Attribution of Credit and Blame to Governments and its Impact on Vote Choice (pdf)
Michael Marsh and James Tilley
This paper will appear in 2009 in the British Journal of Political Science.
Abstract: This paper examines how voters attribute credit and blame to governments for policy success and policy failure, and how this affects their party support. Using panel data from Britain between 1997-01 and Ireland between 2002-07, and modelling attribution, it finds that it is the interaction between partisanship and evaluation of performance that is most important. It also argues that partisanship serves to resolve incongruities between party support and policy evaluation through selective attribution. In this way favoured parties are not blamed for policy failures and less favoured ones are not credited with policy success. It goes on to show how attributions affected defections from Labour over the 1997-2001 election cycle in Britain, and defections from the Fianna Fáil/ Progressive Democrat coalition over the 2002-2007 election cycle in Ireland. Using models of vote switching and controlling for partisanship to minimize endogeneity problems, it finds that with attribution of responsibility evaluations of government performance have a much greater effect on vote intention than unattributed evaluations, and that this result holds across several policy areas and both political systems.