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Candidate selection methods and electoral performance in comparative perspective

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 June 2018

Giulia Vicentini
Scuola Normale Superiore, Dipartimento di Scienze Politico-Sociali, Palazzo Strozzi, Firenze, Italy
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The purpose of the article is try to assess whether inclusive procedures of selection are more likely to appoint a candidate who can be competitive in the general elections compared with less inclusive ones. Accordingly, I took into account nomination processes (NPs) to select/appoint the prime ministerial/presidential candidate for general elections held in four Western European countries (France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom) over approximately the last two decades. Using an original data source and innovative indicators, I assessed the inclusiveness of each NP and the party/candidate’s performance in the following general election in order to look for a possible relation. The outcome shows a very weak negative correlation between the two variables. Thus, while it does not appear that inclusive systems of selection have a clear positive impact at the electoral level, it is likewise hard to maintain that systems such as primary elections cause electoral failure.

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© Società Italiana di Scienza Politica 2018 

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