Recent studies document that voters infer parties' left-right policy agreement based on governing coalition arrangements. This article extends this research to present theoretical and empirical evidence that European citizens update their perceptions of junior coalition partners' left-right policies to reflect the policies of the prime minister's party, but that citizens do not reciprocally project junior coalition partners' policies onto the prime minister's party. These findings illuminate the simple rules that citizens employ to infer parties' policy positions, broaden understanding of how citizens perceive coalition governance and imply that ‘niche’ parties, whose electoral appeal depends upon maintaining a distinctive policy profile, assume electoral risks when they enter government.
Figure S1. Results of Error Clustering Exercise for Junior Partner Model (Test of Hypothesis 1) Percentage Change to the Standard Error for Each Parameter
Figure S2. Results of Error Clustering Exercise for Prime Minister Model (Test of Hypothesis ) Percentage Change to the Standard Error for Each Parameter
Figure S3. Substantive effects from PM Model presented in Table 4 of the Main Text
Table S1. Analysis of Survey Respondents' Placements of Prime Ministers – Junior Partner CMP interactions removed
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