Public popularity as a part of the job description? Dismissing unpopular ministers

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Are unpopular ministers more likely to be forced out of office than their colleagues in Cabinet? This study examines the relationship between ministers’ unpopularity and their duration in office. By examining opinion polls on the popularity of ministers in Denmark in the period 1978 to 2019, the analysis shows that when Danish Prime Ministers choose to dismiss ministers, they dismiss ministers who are relatively less popular than their colleagues in the Cabinet. Statistical analyses show that less popular ministers have a higher probability of being dismissed. This is particularly true for ministers outside the inner circles of Cabinet. These results suggest that opinion polls on ministers’ individual popularity have been neglected in political science so far and should be considered in future studies of cabinet governments.
Original languageEnglish
JournalWest European Politics
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jan 2021

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