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Legislator Dissent Does Not Affect Electoral Outcomes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 December 2022

Philip Cowley*
Affiliation:
School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
Resul Umit
Affiliation:
School of Government and International Affairs, Durham University, Durham, UK
*
*Corresponding author. Email: p.cowley@qmul.ac.uk

Abstract

Are there electoral consequences or benefits for legislators who deviate from the party line? We answer this question with data from individual-level vote choice and constituency-level electoral results in the UK for the last two decades. Exploring the variations in voting patterns over time with a panel-regression approach, we find results that are most compatible with the null hypothesis, that is, that dissent by legislators is neither rewarded nor punished in elections. These results call into question the degree to which voters know and/or care about legislative dissent in parliament.

Type
Letter
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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Cowley and Umit Dataset

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