The study of voting behaviour remains a vibrant sub-discipline of political science. The Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an authoritative and wide ranging survey of this dynamic field, drawing together a team of the world's leading scholars to provide a state-of-the-art review that sets the agenda for future study. Taking an interdisciplinary approach and focusing on a range of countries, the handbook is composed of eight parts. The first five cover the principal theoretical paradigms, establishing the state of the art in their conceptualisation and application, and followed by chapters on their specific challenges and innovative applications in contemporary voting studies. The remaining three parts explore elements of the voting process to understand their different effects on vote outcomes. The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an essential benchmark publication for advanced students, researchers and practitioners in the fields of politics, sociology, psychology and research methods.
Chapter 4: The Study of Less Important Elections
The Study of Less Important Elections
The character and the importance of the electoral contest is a group of contextual variables that have become a staple in comparative analysis and, together with the political climate, constitute the core dimensions of multi-level electoral research. The character of the electoral contest is defined by the perceived political importance (or salience) of the office to be filled, which differs between the different types of elections. Elections of members of national parliaments or of a president with executive powers are contests of high salience (or ‘high stimulus elections'), while all other types of elections are of low salience (or ‘low stimulus ...