Voter attitudes to inter-party transfers in Northern Ireland: a median-difference analysis of inter-party transfers in the 1982 and 1998 Assembly elections
O'Kelly, Michael and Doyle, John (2002) Voter attitudes to inter-party transfers in Northern Ireland: a median-difference analysis of inter-party transfers in the 1982 and 1998 Assembly elections. Working Papers in International Studies Series. (Paper No. 2002-4). Centre for International Studies, Dublin City University, Ireland.
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The impact of the 1998 peace agreement in Northern Ireland on electoral behaviour is analysed in this article by plotting median differences in inter-party transfers under the PR by Single Transferable Vote system used in 1998 and in 1982. There is clear evidence that moderate and militant nationalists have followed the lead of their party elites and have transferred lower preference votes to each other at higher levels and more consistently in 1998 than in 1982. Patterns of change within unionism are more complex.
While there were some signs of a slightly increased willingness from pro-Agreement unionists to transfer to moderate nationalists and a fall in the percentage of transfers to anti-Agreement unionists, there was still considerable consistency of support between the unionist parties despite the split over the peace agreement.
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