Cleavages, values and the vote in Portugal, 2005–09 | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 12, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1476-413X
  • E-ISSN: 1758-9509



Electoral studies remain relatively underdeveloped in Portugal, but there is some consensus about the reduced impact of values on the vote. However, the previous studies used very limited sets of indicators. Because they included an extensive battery of ‘position issues’, the recent Portuguese National Election Studies, 2005–09, allow us to further the debate. Moreover, perhaps because it is embedded in the cleavage structures, research about the impact of values on the vote is scarce beyond Portugal. Thus, the present article allows us to integrate the Portuguese case into the western debate about the impact of values on the vote: the impact that is embedded in cleavage structures, and the impact that is independent of citizens’ social location. It is shown that by using the appropriate indicators for the position issues, we find a significant impact of values on the vote: citizens who favour income equality, more state intervention and who are more libertarian in their lifestyles are also more likely to vote for the left; while the opposite trend is true for right-wing voters. Additionally, we show that only part of the values’ impact on the vote is embedded in the cleavage structure; like in other more advanced polities, a significant part is not, thus showing that ‘value voting’ is also present and important in the Portuguese case.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): cleavages; issues; Portugal; values; vote
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