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A choice-based measure of issue importance in the electorate.

Hanretty, Chris and Lauderdale, Benjamin E. and Vivyan, Nick (2020) 'A choice-based measure of issue importance in the electorate.', American journal of political science., 64 (3). pp. 519-535.


Measuring how much citizens care about dierent policy issues is critical for political scientists, yet existing measurement approaches have signicant limitations. We provide a new surveyexperimental, choice-based approach for measuring the importance voters attach to dierent positional issues, including issues not currently contested by political elites. We combine information from (i) direct questions eliciting respondents’ positions on dierent issues with (ii) a conjoint experiment asking respondents to trade-o departures from their preferred positions on those issues. Applying this method to study the relative importance of 34 issues in the UK, we show that British voters attach signicant importance to issues like the death penalty which are not presently the subject of political debate and attach more importance to those issues associated with social liberal-conservative rather than economic left-right divisions.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Hanretty, Chris, Lauderdale, Benjamin E. & Vivyan, Nick (2020). A Choice-Based Measure of Issue Importance in the Electorate. American Journal of Political Science 64(3): 519-535 which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Date accepted:06 August 2019
Date deposited:17 June 2019
Date of first online publication:25 February 2020
Date first made open access:25 February 2022

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