Recently, Sanders et al. have made the intriguing and counter-intuitive argument that the impact of the Falklands war on Conservative popularity was inconsequential. Their analyses raise important theoretical and methodological issues concerning the time-series analysis of party support. This present article contends that the stepwise regression procedures employed by Sanders et al. are misleading, particularly when predictor variables are highly intercorrelated. Box- Jenkins analyses demonstrate that the Falklands strongly influenced Conservative support, net of the effects of macroeconomic conditions and personal economic expectations. The significance of the latter variable in the models confirms Sanders et as argument about the role of subjective economic variables in party popularity functions. Non-economic variables are also relevant, however, and popularity functions that model them correctly will enhance our understanding of both the economics and the politics of party support.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science