Cultural and class voting: a theoretical and statistical revision- A contribution to the debate about the impact of social divisions on political choices using Flanders and Wallonia as case study
Berg, J.C. van den
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and class voting. We construct and test a model that integrates the determinants of cultural and class voting instead of making a rigid distinction between explaining a vote for an economic or cultural related party. We introduce the concepts: old-left and new-left voting to indicate the probability to vote for these parties compared to the likelihood to vote for another party. Flanders and Wallonia are used as case study and we use Multinomial Logistic Regression to test the hypotheses. The data is from the European Social Survey Round 4 (2008). The results give strong support for our theoretical approach. In both Flanders and Wallonia we see that economic and cultural determinants are not either linked to cultural or economic oriented parties. Instead of that it is also for instance indicated that traditional economic characteristics distinguish voters from an old- and new-left party. Moreover in Flanders the class related factors (income and social-class) do not have relevance for explaining voting behaviour. To determine the probability to vote for Groen! (new-left voting) or SP.A (old-left voting) in Flanders, neither income nor social-class has explanatory value. In Wallonia on the contrary the differences in social divisions are reflected in the choice of voting. This study also contributes to the „social-class debate‟ by showing that in Wallonia income might be a better concept for analysing voting for an economic party compared to social-class.