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Governing together in good and bad economic times : the fulfilment of election pledges in Ireland

Thomson, Robert and Costello, Rory (2016) Governing together in good and bad economic times : the fulfilment of election pledges in Ireland. Irish Political Studies. ISSN 0790-7184

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    Abstract

    According to mandate theory, parties make pledges during election campaigns, and the parties that form governments after elections fulfil their pledges. We examine the extent to which the fulfilment of election pledges depends on the type of government that forms and the economic conditions governing parties face. We do this by examining the fulfilment of Irish parties’ election pledges over a period of more than 30 years, 1977-2011. During the time period considered, the Irish electoral and party systems produced eleven governments of four distinct types: majority and minority coalitions as well as majority and minority single-party governments. The eleven governments that held office during this period also varied considerably from each other in duration and the economic conditions they faced. By examining variation in pledge fulfilment across these governments, are able to draw inferences about the effects of different types of government and economic conditions on pledge fulfilment.