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A Conservative Revolution?Electoral Change in Twenty-First Century Ireland$
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Michael Marsh, David M. Farrell, and Gail McElroy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198744030

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744030.001.0001

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The 2011 Election in Context

(p.1) 1 Introduction
A Conservative Revolution?

Michael Marsh

David M. Farrell

Gail McElroy

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the state of electoral behaviour research in the Republic of Ireland, locating the Irish National Election Study (INES) and Irish elections in comparative context. The chapter starts by setting the scene in terms of the 2011 election, an election that was seen by many at the time as an electoral earthquake. Was this election as radical as it appeared at first or did we see a culmination of longer-term trends as evidenced in the previous two general elections of 2002 and 2007? The subsequent section introduces the INES, a study that has tracked Irish voter trends across the three elections from 2002 to 2011 and that forms the basis for the chapters that follow. The third section of the chapter sets out the main themes that are developed in the remaining chapters of this volume.

Keywords:   Irish 2011 general election, earthquake election, Irish National Election Study, party competition, electoral volatility

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