Marco R. Steenbergen, Thomas Willi
Electoral Studies 57(1): 263-274
Publication year: 2019

Consideration set models (CSMs) offer a novel way to study electoral behavior. Until now, they have been mostly studied at the micro-level of the voter’s decision process. By contrast, we focus on the implications of CSMs for understanding the phenomenon of party competition. We propose a two hurdle model whereby parties compete for both consideration and selection, pursuant the consideration and choice stages of the CSM. We operationalize these hurdles in terms of a party’s inclusivity—is it being considered?—and exclusivity—is it considered on its own?—and formally derive lower- and upper-bounds for the electoral fortunes of the party. We also show how consideration set data can be used to sketch the competition landscape in an election and to characterize the system-wide competitiveness of a political system. We illustrate our concepts and ideas using data from the 2010 Dutch and 2014 Swedish parliamentary elections.

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