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Constituency preferences and MP preferences: the electoral connection

Martin, Danielle and Hug, Simon (2020) Constituency preferences and MP preferences: the electoral connection. Party Politics, 26 (5). 619 - 627. ISSN 1354-0688

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1354068818798861


The question how voter preferences relate to preferences of representatives under different electoral rules has attracted scholarly attention for some time. Although theoretical work suggests that proportional rule leads to more dispersion of representatives than plurality rule, empirical studies of this nexus have not yet reached a consensus. We argue that this is because they are plagued by serious problems as they rely on measures that differ for both sets of actors. We use behavioral data to estimate ideal points of voters and representatives on a common scale by taking advantage of the high frequency of referendums in Switzerland. We find that members of parliament elected in proportional representation systems are more widely dispersed around the median voter. Probing at what stage this difference in dispersion occurs, we also demonstrate this is the voters’ doing, as it only applies to candidates who are elected.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2019 SAGE Publications
Divisions: European Institute
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2019 16:01
Last Modified: 30 May 2024 12:45
Projects: 100012-111909
Funders: Swiss National Science Foundation

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