A vast literature demonstrates that partisanship has a stabilizing impact on politics, as it limits electoral volatility. Recent studies have also shown that polarization increases partisanship, thus contributing to electoral stability. Focusing on Turkey, an unconsolidated and highly polarized democracy, this study investigates the role of partisanship in a comparative context by means of data from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems project. I find that Turkey (among more than 40 countries) is a very high-partisanship country, where partisanship greatly shapes the evaluations of short-term determinants of vote and the vote itself. This research also shows that partisanship in Turkey is associated with very low electoral volatility and defection rates. Moreover, the degree of identification also plays a significant role in its impact on volatility and defection. These findings from the Turkish case offer insights and stimulate a new normative debate on the role of partisanship in unconsolidated democracies.
(with Semra Sevi, Can Serif Mekik and André Blais)
Voting rights are an essential feature of democratic citizenship. Turkey enfranchised its expatriate citizens in 1995, but they were first granted the right to vote from overseas in the 2014 presidential election. We examine turnout and vote choice among expatriates in Turkish elections from 2014 to 2018. We find that turnout among expatriates is low and that they tend to vote in the same direction as domestic voters. Furthermore, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) tend to do better among expatriates compared to their domestic counterparts. Our analyses also suggest that expatriate voting is linked to the strength of voters’ ties to their country of origin. Moreover, expatriate vote choice appears to vary with geographic and political variables associated with the host countries.