chapter  2
ELECTORAL INSTABILITY AND PARTY SYSTEM CHANGE IN WESTERN EUROPE
BySVANTE ERSSON AND JAN-ERIK LANE
Pages 16

The European electorate votes regularly in national elections, since parliamentary democracy is the prevailing regime all over Europe. The basic theory about the relationship between the electorate and the party system is the Lipset-Rokkan model. According to Stein Rokkan and Seymour Martin Lipset, party systems tend to be stable because the shares of the major parties remain intact from one election to another, as if the electorate were frozen into fixed patterns of alignment corresponding to the social or historical cleavages in society of the 1920s (Lipset and Rokkan 1967:50).