Candidates and Campaigning in Australia’s Preferential Voting System
29 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 11 Aug 2010
Date Written: 2010
While national election campaigns have become increasingly personalized, it is unclear to what extent this trend has been replicated at the local constituency level. Using surveys of both candidates and voters in the 2007 Australian federal election, this paper examines the personalization of the local election campaign in Australia’s candidate-centred preferential voting system. The results suggest that a combination of candidate-focused and party-focused factors operate to shape local constituency behavior. In general, candidate factors stem from the preferential voting system, while party factors stems from the system of compulsory voting. Each set of factors has significant consequences for the votes that the candidates and parties receive. Overall, the study emphasizes the importance of institutional design in shaping the personalization of election campaigning at the constituency level.
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