Following the logic outlined above, we would expect parties to move to the center of the policy space because electorally rewarding positions are located at the center of policy space. This is true for the mainstream parties because they are mostly on the center right or center left of the political spectrum. However, the emergence of niche parties across the Western Europe have complicated the understanding of the party competition (implications for spatial model). Meguid (2005) concluded that “competition is not restricted to interaction between ideological neighbors, as the standard spatial theory claims; non-proximal parties play a critical role in the success and failure of Western Euro...
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...ve importance of issues than on substantive policies. The method therefore only reports the salience of an issue and not its substance. In other words, this method is open to criticism because it does not differentiate positive from negative references to an issue. Moreover, as Selb and Pituctin (2010) noted, models of party formation and success suffer from biased inferences because “multi –period data are simultaneously structured in space and time” (Selb and Pituctin 148).
In short, there needs to be a unified definition of niche party concept that include disparate parties such as Communist, Green and Ethno/Regional parties. Furthermore, there should be a continuous measurement of niche party concept rather than measurement based on family membership like previous studies. If this is done properly, it will greatly enhance our understanding of party competition.
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