The Impact of Party Identification and Socially Supplied Disagreement on Electoral Choices in Turkey

Erisen E.

TURKISH STUDIES, vol.14, no.1, pp.53-73, 2013 (Journal Indexed in SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 14 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/14683849.2013.766982
  • Title of Journal : TURKISH STUDIES
  • Page Numbers: pp.53-73


The relative impacts of social influence and political party affiliation on electoral choices depend on the maturity of the political party system. In established democracies political party affiliation has a decisive impact on electoral choices whereas in democratizing countries political discussion influences over-time volatility in electoral outcomes. This paper investigates the significance of both factors on individual attitudes toward political candidates in Turkey. Findings from an experiment where social disagreement and candidate political party affiliation are manipulated indicate that young voters are sensitive to both partisan cues and socially supplied disagreement in forming and changing their attitudes toward political candidates. The results also show that, unlike most developing countries with weak parties, party label in Turkey is an important heuristic for making electoral choices. However, social disagreement can make political attitudes unstable. The findings suggest that Turkey presents us with a case in between the developed country voters' iron clad partisan attachment and the developing country voters' high susceptibility to socially communicated persuasive messages.