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Who wins preference votes? An analysis of party loyalty, ideology, and accountability to voters

Olle Folke and Johanna Rickne

Journal of Theoretical Politics, 2020, vol. 32, issue 1, 11-35

Abstract: We study the distribution of preference votes across politicians with different behaviors and attitudes. There are two main findings. First, preference votes are concentrated to politicians who are more active in communicating their policy proposals and policy priorities. This suggests that preference voting may incentivize more transparency and communication among politicians, and, hence, be positive for accountability. Second, preference votes are concentrated to politicians who are more—not less—loyal to the party in their voting decisions, and to politicians who’s ideological and policy positions are mainstream—rather than extreme—compared to their party colleagues. Together with the first finding, this suggests that preference voting can strengthen the bond of accountability between voters and politicians without undercutting parties’ ideological cohesion.

Keywords: Flexible-list proportional representation; local politics; party cohesion; political representation; preference vote; Sweden (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1177/0951629819893028

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