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The personal vote, electoral experience and local connections: explaining retirement underperformance at UK elections 1987-2010

Middleton, Alia (2018) The personal vote, electoral experience and local connections: explaining retirement underperformance at UK elections 1987-2010 Politics.

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Abstract

At each election, some MPs decide to step down. Irrespective of their motivation, retirement has an electoral impact; their party’s constituency vote share experiences a 'slump'. Conventional wisdom attributes this underperformance to the loss of the retiring MP’s personal vote. This article uses aggregate-level data covering UK General Elections between 1987 and 2010 to demonstrate whether this explanation is supported. It also examines whether political parties can mediate such underperformances by considering the electoral experience and local connections of candidates contesting the post-retirement election. The article finds mixed evidence for the link between personal votes and underperformance. However, parties should pay close attention to the candidates selected to fight the post-retirement election. If an inheritor wants to win a national government or opposition seat, experience and local ties can be harmful. Also, schooling and other local ties enable candidates to mount effective challenges to government and opposition inheritors.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Politics
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Middleton, Aliaa.middleton@surrey.ac.uk
Date : 1 February 2018
Identification Number : 10.1177/0263395718754717
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright 2018 SAGE Publications
Uncontrolled Keywords : British politics; Candidates; Elections; Hansard; Personal vote
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 02 Feb 2018 13:06
Last Modified : 09 May 2018 13:15
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/845733

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