Chapter 10: Are there any ties left? Party characteristics and age-based differences in party–voter linkages
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This chapter focusses on age differences in partisanship and party–voter congruence, explains whether those parties that manage to get young people to vote, and with whom the young identify, can articulate and aggregate their supporters’ preferences. The analysis shows that while the young are less likely to identify with political parties compared to older citizens, more than half of young voters report to be close to political parties. There are no large differences in party–voter policy agreement among the selected age groups. There is no evidence to suggest that young voters are less represented by their preferred parties compared to other age groups; in fact, overall levels of policy representation for all citizens are quite satisfactory. In addition, we were interested in identifying whether different parties perform better with respect to two age groups. The findings suggest that niche parties, and ideologically distinctive parties attract more young partisans, but also that parties successfully balance heterogeneous requests from different age groups, and they all perform their representative roles quite well.

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