Preaching to the converted? Christian Democratic voting in six west European countries

Fraser Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The electoral success of many West European Christian Democratic parties as prototypical people’s parties has been threatened in recent years by growing secularization and economic trends. In the light of these challenges, this article analyses the importance of social and attitudinal variables in predicting support for seven Christian Democratic parties at the individual level using data from the European Social Survey. The results highlight the continuing centrality of religion in Christian Democratic voting. Regular attendance at church, particularly among Catholics, raises the probability of supporting Christian Democracy at the ballot box substantially. Class, by contrast, offers a weak guide as to the likelihood of a Christian Democratic vote. The importance of religion is such that expectations about other potentially important independent variables (character of domicile, age) are generally not met. Yet the reliable support of religious voters is increasingly an ambiguous electoral asset with clear signs that this partisan constituency is in decline throughout Western Europe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)577-590
Number of pages14
JournalParty Politics
Issue number4
Early online date27 May 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


  • religion
  • social cleavages
  • vote choice
  • Western Europe


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