When Does the Personal Vote Matter for Party Loyalty? The Conditional Effects of Candidate-Centred Electoral Systems

20 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2011 Last revised: 13 Jun 2018

See all articles by Royce Carroll

Royce Carroll

University of Essex - Department of Government

Monika Nalepa

The University of Chicago

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

When do candidate-centred electoral systems produce undisciplined parties? In this paper we examine party discipline under open list proportional representation, a system associated with MPs cultivating personal constituencies. We present a model explaining how legislators' preferences and support among voters mediate political leaders' ability to enforce discipline. We show that disloyalty in candidate-centred systems depends on parties' costs for enforcing discipline, but this conditional on MP preferences. MPs who share the policy preferences of their leaders are loyal even when leaders could not afford to discipline them as high vote getters. We use data on legislative voting in Poland's parliament. Our empirical findings confirm that disloyalty is conditioned on party leaders' enforcement capacity and MP preferences. We find that legislators who contribute more to the party electorally in votes are more disloyal only if their preferences diverge from the leadership.

Keywords: legislative voting, party discipline, political parties, Poland

JEL Classification: D72

Suggested Citation

Carroll, Royce and Nalepa, Monika, When Does the Personal Vote Matter for Party Loyalty? The Conditional Effects of Candidate-Centred Electoral Systems (2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1900825 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1900825

Royce Carroll (Contact Author)

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Monika Nalepa

The University of Chicago ( email )

517 Pick Hall
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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