Publication
Title
Politicians are better at estimating public opinion when they think it is more salient
Author
Abstract
Politicians’ perceptions of public opinion matter for substantive representation, but previous work has concluded that they do not have very accurate perceptions of voters’ policy preferences. We add to the debate on the drivers of perceptual accuracy by exploring whether politicians have a more accurate understanding of public opinion when it matters either to voters or themselves, or when politicians think it matters more to voters. Drawing on survey data collected among elected representatives and citizens in Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, and Germany, we show that politicians have a better understanding of public opinion when they think the issue matters to voters. Further, when an issue is personally important to politicians they more accurately estimate their party supporters’ opinions. The results confirm that politicians hold more accurate perceptions of voters’ preferences when they think it is important to do so, but not necessarily when the issues actually are important to voters.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Party politics. - London
Publication
London : 2024
ISSN
1354-0688
DOI
10.1177/13540688241239625
Volume/pages
(2024) , p. 1-13
Article Reference
13540688241239625
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
The Impact of Information and Own Preferences on Political Elites' Perceptions of the Voters' Policy Wishes.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Record
Identifier
Creation 19.03.2024
Last edited 20.03.2024
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