Party Families in East-Central and Western Europe at the Beginning of the 21st Century
This chapter focuses on the importance of the individual party families; in other words, the support they get from voters. It discusses how this impacts their position on the party spectrum. The chapter examines the differences in their ideological and policy orientations, and also focuses on formations that cannot be placed in any particular party family. It explains that in East-Central Europe it must be taken into account that competition between conservatives and Christian Democrats is much more common. While in Western Europe it is basically possible to read the support for both families as a joint result for the moderate right and a counterweight to the Social Democrats, in East-Central Europe people must be more careful. On an the ideological/program level, it is generally confirmed that East-Central European party families are compatible with their family models in Western Europe, although some of the party families encompass various deviations.