One or two arenas? the break-up between national and regional elections

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JournalJournal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties
DateAccepted/In press - 21 Jan 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 21 Feb 2020
Number of pages23
Pages (from-to)1-23
Early online date21/02/20
Original languageEnglish


This paper shows that the role of national electoral dynamics on regional elections is highly mediated by institutional and electoral constraints at the regional level. Using data on statewide parties’ electoral competition in regional and national elections in Spain and Italy, results show that the contamination of regional elections is lower in regions where decentralization has travelled further and where strong regionalist parties dominate electoral competition. The paper also shows that these two channels -more regional authority and more regionalist competition- shape the regional manifestos of statewide parties by increasing their pro-regional positions. These findings represent a contribution to a better understanding of the extent to which regional elections are a separate electoral arena from the national one.

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