On Wednesday 21 Feb; 1200 – 1330 (REC C1020): BYO lunch lecture by Stefaan Walgrave (University of Antwerp). The title of the lecture is ‘Do representatives have correct perceptions of what the public wants? And, does it matter?’ Read the abstract of the lecture below:
Based on extensive questioning of politicians in three countries and on parallel population surveys, we examine how accurate politicians’ perceptions of public opinion actually are. We show that there are systematic biases towards the opinion of better-off groups. Then, we examine whether public opinion perceptions have an effect on what representatives eventually undertake, within and outside of parliament. As it turns out, perceptions of public opinion are a better predictor of political action than real public opinion.