This article examines the electoral impact of spillover effects in local campaigns in Britain. For the first time, this is applied to the long as well as the short campaign. Using spatial econometric modelling on constituency data from the 2010 general election, there is clear empirical evidence that, in both campaign periods, the more a party spends on campaigning in constituencies adjacent to constituency i, the more votes it gets in constituency i. Of the three major political parties, the Liberal Democrats obtained the greatest electoral payoff. Future empirical analyses of voting at the constituency scale must, therefore, explicitly take account of spatial heterogeneity in order to correctly gauge the magnitude and significance of factors that affect parties' parliamentary performance.
This paper argues that there is a strong relationship between geographical patterns of political parties' electoral performance and the composition of central government expenditures. When party system nationalization is high, the composition of spending will focus more on non-targetable expenditures, while targetable expenditures increase as the party system distribution of votes across different districts becomes less homogenous. However, the effect of party nationalization on spending type is conditioned by the size of the presidential coalition; targeted transfers will increase if the coalition size decreases, even if party nationalization is high. I find support for these hypotheses with an empirical analysis of district-level electoral and government expenditure data for several countries in Latin America between 1990 and 2006.
Although political scandals receive unprecedented attention in the contemporary media, the knowledge of political scientists regarding the consequences of such scandals remains limited. On the basis of two nationally representative survey experiments, we investigate whether the impact of scandals depends on the traits of the politicians involved. We find substantial evidence that politicians are particularly punished for political-ideological hypocrisy, while there is less evidence that gender stereotypes matter. We also show that voters evaluate scandals in the personal lives of politicians in a highly partisan manner – other-party voters punish a politician substantially harsher than same-party voters. Interestingly, voters show no gender bias in their candidate evaluations.
This article focuses on the electoral strategies of state-wide parties (SWPs) with regard to centre–periphery issues in regional elections. It applies Meguid’s Position–Salience–Ownership (PSO) theory to regional electoral competition in Spain and the United Kingdom. We anticipate that SWPs will seek to vary their strategies, especially in regional elections where they face fierce competition from regionalist parties. We also expect their strategies to be influenced by the SWPs' strategy in state-wide elections. The analysis reveals that the key assumptions of the PSO stack up quite well when applied to regional elections. It also reveals the influence of the multi-layered institutional context in which SWPs compete: at the regional level, said parties do not necessarily adopt the most logical strategy according to the PSO theory if this runs counter to the prevailing SWP strategy at the state-wide level.
Ladrech, R. (2013). James Cronin, George Ross and James Shoch (eds), What’s left of the left: Democrats and social democrats in challenging times, reviewed by Robert Ladrech. Party Politics, 19(4), 687–688. http://doi.org/10.1177/1354068813485792