This pioneering analysis uses the results from the first ever Irish election study to provide a comprehensive survey of the motives, outlook and behaviour of voters in the Republic of Ireland. Building on the foundations laid down by previous work on comparative electoral behaviour, it explores long-term influences on vote choice, such as party loyalties and enduring values, as well as short-term ones, such as the ecomy, the party leaders and the candidates themselves. It also examines how people use their vote and why so many people do t vote at all. Many features of Irish elections make such a detailed study particularly important. The single transferable vote system allows voters an unusual degree of freedom to pick the candidates they prefer, while electoral trends observed elsewhere can be found in a more extreme form in Ireland. For example, attachment to parties is very low, differences between them are often obscure, candidate profiles are very high and turut is falling rapidly. However, Irish elections defy international trends in other respects, most tably in the degree of personal contact parties and candidates make with their voters. Findings are presented in a manner that is highly accessible to anyone with an interest in elections, electoral systems and electoral behaviour. The book is essential reading for anyone interested in Irish politics and is an important text for students of European Politics, Parties and Elections, Comparative Politics and Political Sociology.
Michael Marsh is Associate Professor of Political Science at Trinity College Dublin. Richard Sinnott is Professor of Politics at University College Dublin. John Garry is Lecturer in Politics at Queen's University Belfast. Fiachra Kennedy is Research Fellow in the Geary Institute, University College Dublin
Fiachra Kennedy, John Garry, Michael Marsh, Richard Sinnott