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Miroslav Beblav and Marcela Veselkova, "Preferential voting and the party-electorate relationship in Slovakia," Party Politics, 20 (July, 2014), 521-532. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol20/issue4/ ]

First paragraph:
The concept of 'preferential voting' encompasses a variety of electoral rules aimed at combining party-based electoral systems with the ability of voters to have their say in the election of individual members of a legislature (Millard and Popescu, 2004b). Originally introduced in Western Europe to foster links between voters and representatives (Bergman et al., 2003: 213; Marsh, 1985: 365; Pedersen, 1966: 172), the mechanism was adopted by five postcommunist countries -- Poland, Estonia, Latvia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia -- as part of their democratization reforms with the same rationale (Birch et al., 2002).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Party--electorate relationship.
Table 2. Classification of Slovak political parties.
Table 3. Utilization of preference votes by voters, 1998-2010.
Table 4. MPs elected through the mechanism of 'preference votes', 1998-2010
Figure 1. Party--electorate relationship in Slovakia.
Figure 2. Relationship between divergence and electoral success.

Last Paragraph:
(First paragraph f conclusion) The main aim of this article was to examine the party-electorate relationship using preferential voting data. To this end, we used a concentration of voters' support and divergence between party and electorate preferences as two inter-related dimensions. Using this framework to examine preferential voting in Slovakia enabled us to test the existing hypotheses, which suggest certain levels of concentration and divergence based on the unity, age or leadership of the party; furthermore, it led us to examine the circumstances under which parties' relationship with the electorate changes. We come up with seven distinct findings.

Last updated June 2014