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The Acceptance of Party Unity in Parliamentary Democracies$
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David M. Willumsen

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805434

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805434.001.0001

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The Acceptance of Party Unity in Sweden, 1985 to 2010

The Acceptance of Party Unity in Sweden, 1985 to 2010

Chapter:
(p.76) 4 The Acceptance of Party Unity in Sweden, 1985 to 2010
Source:
The Acceptance of Party Unity in Parliamentary Democracies
Author(s):

David M. Willumsen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198805434.003.0004

Analysing six waves of parliamentary surveys in Sweden, this chapter discusses the variation in the extent to which MPs have a reason to vote against their party based on policy preferences alone, and how this varies over time. The chapter argues that while preference homogeneity within parties consistently across time explains a substantial share of unity in Sweden, the parliamentary parties are not ideologically homogeneous enough to explain the voting unity observed, confirming the findings of the previous chapter. Analysing the drivers of attitudes to party unity, and confirming the findings of the previous chapter, the chapter finds that the most credible explanation of the very high levels of unity in the Riksdag is that MPs voluntarily choose to vote the party line due to the long-term benefits of doing so. The chapter then analyses around 200 answers to an open-ended survey question, confirming the findings from the quantitative analysis.

Keywords:   Sweden, electoral system change, unity through preferences, open-ended survey questions, over-time analysis

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