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Ballot structure, list flexibility and policy representation

Däubler, Thomas and Hix, Simon (2017) Ballot structure, list flexibility and policy representation. Journal of European Public Policy, 25 (12). pp. 1798-1816. ISSN 1350-1763

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Identification Number: 10.1080/13501763.2017.1361465


There is a growing body of research on the impact of the electoral system ‘ballot structure’ on the behaviour of politicians. We offer a clear, ordinal and rules-based three-way coding (closed, flexible, open) of the electoral systems used in European Parliament elections, taking into account both the ballot type and the intra-party seat-allocation rules. For the notoriously difficult group of flexible list-systems, we show how these operated in the 2004, 2009 and 2014 elections, and introduce an additional behavioural distinction between ‘weakly flexible’ and ‘strongly flexible’ subtypes at the party-list-level. We then illustrate how the type of ballot used in an election can influence individual policy representation by looking at the vote-splits between Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) in the European People’s Party in a vote on tackling homophobia.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Informa UK Limited
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2017 14:36
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2024 04:39

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