Get access

Potentially Voting across the Divide in Deeply Divided Places: Ethnic Catch-All Voting in Consociational Northern Ireland



I elaborate a model of cross-bloc party support in deeply divided places. The model expects that the variation in the level of electoral support that citizens in Community A have for parties in Community B is a function of citizens' evaluations of the relative ability of parties in Community B to represent the interests of all communities. This ‘ethnic catch-all’ model of cross-bloc party support is tested in the context of consociational Northern Ireland, using data from a representative survey conducted directly after the 2010 Westminster general election. The findings are asymmetric: the model explains Protestant support for nationalist parties but not Catholic support for unionist parties. The findings, and their implications, are discussed.

Get access to the full text of this article