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Party System Polarization Index for CSES Modules 1-4

The following files have been generously prepared and contributed to the public domain by individual CSES researchers. Because the files were not produced by the CSES Secetariat, the CSES Secetariat is unable to answer questions about them – please instead contact the persons that prepared the files.

If you have a file specifically related to CSES that you would like to make available, please send an inquiry to the CSES Secretariat at [email protected].

Contributed by: Russell J. Dalton

Contact Person: Russell J. Dalton [email protected]

Version: April 19, 2017

Download the file here:
Party System Polarization Index for CSES Modules 1-4


The associated Excel file provides a summary statistic of party system polarization in legislative elections for each of the CSES nations that include the requisite data. The index measures the spread of parties along the Left-Right scale (see Dalton 2008). The polarization index uses the public’s mean perception of a party’s Left-Right position in each nation, weighted by the vote share for each party. Original sampling weights were used for the survey data. In some instances, we estimated party vote shares when parties ran in an electoral alliance, or when electoral returns were incomplete. Party vote share is calculated as a percentage for parties represented in CSES data. The resulting index has a range from 0 when all parties are located at the same position on the Left-Right scale to 10 when all parties are located at the extreme positions on the CSES Left-Right scale. A separate example excel file shows the calculation method for the Australian CSES I survey.