Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Candidate Sexual Orientation Didn't Matter (in the Way You Might Think) in the 2015 UK General Election

  • GABRIELE MAGNI (a1) and ANDREW REYNOLDS (a1)
Abstract

Does sexual orientation and gender identity matter at election time? While previous literature has explored the effect of candidate gender and ethnicity on electoral results, this is the first study to quantitatively investigate the impact of sexual orientation. We build an original dataset combining individual-level data on more than 3,000 candidates in the 2015 UK election with sociodemographic indicators at the constituency level. In addition to sexual orientation and other demographic characteristics, we include candidate education, political experience, and campaign spending. We find that LGBT candidates generally do not have a negative impact on party vote share. Even in more conservative environments, LGBT candidates perform at least as well as their straight counterparts. This work is important to understand the consequences of descriptive representation and, relatedly, how rapid social change happens.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Gabriele Magni is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 361 Hamilton Hall, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3265 (magni@live.unc.edu).
Andrew Reynolds is a Professor of Political Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 361 Hamilton Hall, UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3265 (asreynol@email.unc.edu).
Footnotes
Hide All

The authors acknowledge the help and advice of Marco Biagi, Crispin Blunt, Sarah Brown, Andrew Flores, Matthew Green, Benali Hamdache, James Harper, Kieran Healy, Tim Hopkins, Zoe O'Connell, Ed Gareth Poole, Harry Prance, Ken Sherrill, Alissandra Stoyan, and Luke Young. The authors would also like to thank the anonymous reviewers and the APSR editor for their helpful comments. Replication files can be found on the American Political Science Review Dataverse: https://doi.org/10.7910/DVN/CTZNJV.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Andersen, Robert, and Fetner, Tina. 2008. “Economic Inequality and Intolerance: Attitudes toward Homosexuality in 35 Democracies.” American Journal of Political Science 52 (4): 942–58.
Ayoub, Phillip M., and Garretson, Jeremiah. 2017. “Getting the Message Out: Media Context and Global Changes in Attitudes toward Homosexuality.” Comparative Political Studies 50 (8): 1055–85.
BBC. 2015. UK Results. Accessed December 13, 2017. http://www.bbc.com/news/election/2015/results.
Bishin, G. Benjamin, Hayes, Thomas, Incantalupo, Matthew, and Smith, Charles. 2016. “Opinion Backlash and Public Attitudes: Are Political Advances in Gay Rights Counterproductive?American Journal of Political Science 60 (3): 625–48.
British Election Study. 2015. Constituency Results Version 2.2. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.1.1162.1844.
Cottrell, Catherine A., and Neuberg, Steven L.. 2005. “Different Emotional Reactions to Different Groups: a Sociofunctional Threat-Based Approach to “Prejudice”.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 88 (5): 770–89.
Democratic Dashboard. Accessed December 13, 2017. http://democraticdashboard.com/.
Egan, Patrick J., Edelman, Murray S., and Sherrill, Kenneth. 2008. Findings from the Hunter College Poll of Lesbians, Gays and Bisexuals. New York: Hunter College.
Elgot, Jessica. 2017. “‘You Are a Danger to Civilization’: Gay Politicians Share Their Experiences.” The Guardian, August 31 https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/aug/31/you-are-a-danger-to-civilisation-gay-mps-share-their-experiences.
EVS. 1981. European Values Study. Accessed February 20, 2018. http://www.europeanvaluesstudy.eu/page/survey-1981.html.
EVS. 1990. European Values Study. Accessed February 20, 2018. http://www.europeanvaluesstudy.eu/page/survey-1990.html.
Haider-Markel, Donald P. 2010. Out and Running: Gay and Lesbian Candidates, Elections, and Policy Representation. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press.
Hanretty, Chris, Lauderdale, Benjamin E., and Vivyan, Nick. 2017. “Dyadic Representation in a Westminster System.” Legislative Studies Quarterly 42 (2): 235–67.
Huddy, Leonie, and Terkilsen, Nayda. 1993. “Gender Stereotypes and the Perception of Male and Female Candidates.” American Journal of Political Science 37 (1): 119–47.
Koch, Jeffrey W. 2000. “Do Citizens Apply Gender Stereotypes to Infer Candidates’ Ideological Orientations?Journal of Politics 62 (2): 414–29.
Lawless, Jennifer L. 2004. “Women, War and Winning Elections: Gender Stereotyping in the Post September 11th Era.” Political Research Quarterly 57 (3): 479–90.
McDermott, Monika L. 1997. “Voting Cues in Low-Information Elections: Candidate Gender as a Social Information Variable in Contemporary US Elections.” American Journal of Political Science 41 (1): 270–83.
Office for National Statistics, National Records of Scotland, and Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. 2016. 2011 Census Aggregate Data. UK Data Service. Accessed December 13, 2017. http://dx.doi.org/10.5257/census/aggregate-2011-1.
Park, Alison, Bryson, Caroline, Clery, Elizabeth, Curtice, John, and Phillips, Miranda. 2013. British Social Attitudes: the 30th Report. London: NatCen Social Research. Accessed December 13, 2017. www.bsa-30.natcen.ac.uk.
Pearson, Kathryn and McGhee, Eric. 2013. “What it Takes to Win: Questioning “Gender Neutral” Outcomes in US House Elections.” Politics & Gender 9 (4): 439–62.
Pew Research Center. 2013. The Global Divide on Homosexuality. Accessed December 13, 2017. http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/06/04/the-global-divide-on-homosexuality/.
Rainey, Carlisle. 2014. “Arguing for a Negligible Effect.” American Journal of Political Science 58 (4): 1083–91.
Sanbonmatsu, Kira. 2002. “Gender Stereotypes and Vote Choice.” American Journal of Political Science 46 (1): 2034.
Stonewall. 2013. Gay in Britain Accessed December 13, 2017. https://www.stonewall.org.uk/sites/default/files/Gay_in_Britain__2013_.pdf.
Tomz, Michael, Wittenberg, Jason, and King, Gary. 2003. “CLARIFY: Software for Interpreting and Presenting Statistical Results.” Journal of Statistical Software 8 (1). DOI: 10.18637/jss. v008.i01.
Tomz, Michael, Tucker, Joshua A., and Wittenberg, Jason. 2002. “An Easy and Accurate Regression Model for Multiparty Electoral Data.” Political Analysis 10 (1): 6683.
Van Heerde-Hudson, Jennifer and Campbell, Rosie. 2015. Parliamentary Candidates UK Dataset (v.1). www.parliamentarycandidates.org.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

American Political Science Review
  • ISSN: 0003-0554
  • EISSN: 1537-5943
  • URL: /core/journals/american-political-science-review
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×
Type Description Title
UNKNOWN
Supplementary materials

Magni and Reynolds Dataset
Dataset

 Unknown
PDF
Supplementary materials

Magni and Reynolds supplementary material
Magni and Reynolds supplementary material 1

 PDF (1.1 MB)
1.1 MB

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed