This accessible textbook provides a comprehensive introduction and guide to theories of voting and electoral behaviour. By carefully presenting and explaining the major technical and methodological advances made in voting studies, the text serves to provide a complete review of the different approaches and techniques that have characterized this area of study from its origins to the present day. The book includes separate chapters on abstention and electoral competition, and employs a range of empirical examples from a number of countries. It concludes by looking at how voting studies might evolve in the future.



Over the previous eight chapters, we have presented the main theoretical elements relating to voting behaviour, together with their key methodological features and the general historical trajectory of their development. The six broad conceptual areas which we have analysed form the main ‘schools of thought’, principally the sociological and rational choice perspectives, together with derived analytical approaches, such as economic and spatial theories and models. Within the voting literature, we have cited those works which we feel best illustrate the above theories and approaches in the case of demand-side perspectives. In other words, we have very deliberately taken the voter herself as the point of departure.

There are some areas concerning voters’ perceptions which we have spent less time on than we might, for instance ...

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