The Partisan Consequences of Secularisation

An Analysis of (Non-)religion and Party Preferences over Time

In: Secular Studies
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  • 1 Queen’s University BelfastUKBelfast

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While we would expect secularisation to have important consequences for voting behaviour, data limitations in previous studies leave the specific implications of secularisation for Canadian electoral politics unclear. Using a data set covering the period between 1975 and 2005, this study examines which aspects of secularisation have affected the partisan balance of the electorate by estimating the effects of religious belonging, behaving, and believing on party preferences. The results show that while the effects of religion (and other social identities) have not changed over time, changes in the composition of the electorate resulting from the growing share of non-religious Canadians holding liberal views on questions of personal morality has benefited the NDP and undercut support for the Conservatives.

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