Estimating Uncertainty in Party Policy Positions Using the Confrontational Approach


This research note extends the confrontational approach to estimating party policy positions by providing a way to estimate uncertainty associated with the measurements. The confrontational approach is a flexible method of determining party policy positions, which is ideally suited to measure parties’ positions on issues that are specific to a country or period in time. We introduce a method of estimating the uncertainty of confrontational estimates by restating the approach as a special case of an item response theory, opening up the possibility of using the confrontational approach not only as a descriptive tool but also as a means of testing hypotheses on party policy preferences. We illustrate our model using analysis of the 2010 Dutch parliamentary election and the 2009 European elections.

Political Science Research and Methods, 6(1): 197-209