Liberal party performance and polarization

William Margulies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nagel and Wlezien's ‘vacant centre’ theory suggests that parties close to the centre tend to do better when a political system is highly polarised, creating an empty space in the political market. Cross-nationally, this does not seem to be true when overall system polarisation is used as the independent variable: indeed, there seems to be a slight negative relationship. The farther apart conservative and social democratic parties are, however, the better that liberal parties tend to do. This parallels Nagel and Wlezien's findings for Great Britain specifically.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-257
JournalAustralian Journal of Political Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Mar 2015


  • comparative manifesto project
  • party systems
  • liberal parties
  • party politics


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