Contemporary Psychology, vol. 22, br. 2, 2019

Original scientific paper

The Relationship between Ideology and Voting Preferences in the Time Perspective: an Indicator of the Ideological Maturation of a Young Democracy?

Goran Milas - Institute for Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb
Boris Mlačić - Institute for Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb

Fulltext (english, pages 161-180).pdf

Much research has been conducted on the relationship between ideology, voter preferences and electoral choice. However, due to the complexity of the relationship, differences in the understanding of ideology and the diversity of political systems, the issue has not yet been fully explored. Current research approaches the problems by monitoring the dynamics of change in the association between ideological position and party preferences over time in Croatia. Data for the study were collected in three surveys conducted in 2003 (N=1248), 2014 (N=1000) and 2016 (N=750) on nationally representative samples of the Croatian adult population. The ideological position of an individual was measured in two ways, using General Social Attitude Scale (SAS_G) and left-right dimension self-placement. Political party preferences were measured by the reported electoral choice in the previous elections and the expressed voting choice in the forthcoming elections. The results of the current study indicate a steady increase in the correlation between ideological factors and political preferences over the years. In the paper we argue that the observed increase in the correspondence between one’s own ideology and the preference for a political party could be an additional indicator of democratic consolidation in transitional and post-transitional countries like Croatia. However, unlike the democratic consolidation taking place on the outside and involving the construction of democratic institutions, this is a change in the minds of citizens who broaden and deepen their political culture, knowledge of ideology, political competence and are becoming more aware of implications of their own electoral decisions.

ideology, social attitudes, political attitudes, political preferences, electoral choice, Croatia

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