A CIS publication on the image of politicians and its impact on voting awarded the AECPA Prize 2011

Madrid, 13 July.- “Líderes políticos, opinión pública y comportamiento electoral en España”, by Guillem Rico, edited by the Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS) in 2009 has won the Best Book prize awarded by the Asociación Española de Ciencia Política (AECPA). The jury, which in this edition evaluated works published in the last two years, highlighted its originality, innovation, importance, impact and repercussion.

Líderes políticos, opinión pública y comportamiento electoral en España

This is the first research work published in Spain to make an in-depth, systematic analysis of different leadership images and their effect on the political attitudes and voting decisions of the Spanish people.

Guillem Rico, a doctor in Political Science from the Universidad Autonomy de Barcelona, proves that a leader's image has a significant impact on the voting decisions of the Spanish people, and in so doing has corroborated a phenomenon already perceived by electoral behaviour experts in Spain: a good opinion of a leader significantly increases the probability of their party receiving support.

The data used in this publication came from the huge CIS database which registers the popularity of candidates over the past 30 years, and includes an analysis of the evolution of the appraisal of leaders of the PSOE, PP/AP, IU/PCE, UCD and CDS political parties between 1979-2009.

The results of this work suggest that the general public makes sensible and politically sound use of their opinions on leaders. It also proves that a candidate's image is intimately and consistently linked to the circumstances of the political debate, the performance of different governments, and the policies put forward by different parties.

“Líderes políticos, opinión pública y comportamiento electoral en España” shares this prize with the work Azorín, testigo parlamentario. Periodismo y política de 1902 a 1923, by José Ferrándiz Lozano.