This study seeks to improve the current conceptualisation of partisanship and to provide empirical evidence about the nature of partisan identities in new democracies. Conventional theories suggest that partisan loyalties are grounded in social and group contexts, while ‘revisionist’ theories have emphasised the importance of the performance evaluations of political actors. This study argues that the nature of partisanship in newer democracies is more strongly influenced by the latter. By focusing on new Southern European democracies, this research confirms the importance of performance and retrospective evaluations as the basis of partisan loyalties. The impact of age and education is very weak, while ideological extremism displays a constant and significant effect. However, the nature of partisanship varies according to different party types, as voters of more ideological parties are less sensitive to short-term judgements.