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Local Candidate Effects in Canadian Elections

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 August 2018

Benjamin Allen Stevens
Affiliation:
Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto, Canadiana Building, 14 Queen's Park Crescent West, Toronto ON, Canada, M5S 3K9
Md Mujahedul Islam
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Toronto ON, Canada, M5S 3G3
Roosmarijn de Geus
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Toronto ON, Canada, M5S 3G3
Jonah Goldberg
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Toronto ON, Canada, M5S 3G3
John R. McAndrews
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Toronto ON, Canada, M5S 3G3
Alex Mierke-Zatwarnicki
Affiliation:
Department of Government, Harvard University, 1737 Cambridge Street, Cambridge MA, 02138USA
Peter John Loewen*
Affiliation:
Department of Political Science, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Toronto ON, Canada, M5S 3G3
Daniel Rubenson
Affiliation:
Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University, Jorgensen Hall 279, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto ON, Canada, M5B 2K3
*
*Corresponding author. Email: peter.loewen@utoronto.ca

Abstract

What impact do local candidates have on elections in single member district plurality electoral systems? We provide new evidence using data from a large election study carried out during the 2015 Canadian federal election. We improve on the measurement of local candidate effects by asking over 20,000 survey respondents to rate the candidates in their constituency directly. We present three estimates. We find that when all voters are considered together, local candidate evaluations are decisive for approximately 4 per cent of voters. Second, these evaluations are decisive for the outcome of 10 per cent of constituency contests. Third, when models are estimated for each constituency, we find significant evaluation effects for 14 per cent of candidates.

Résumé

Quel est l'impact des candidats locaux sur les élections de district dans les systèmes à scrutin majoritaire? Nous fournissons de nouvelles preuves à l'aide de données tirées d'une vaste étude réalisée lors de l'élection fédérale canadienne de 2015. Nous améliorons la mesure des effets sur les candidats locaux en demandant à plus de 20 000 répondents aux enquêtes d'évaluer directement les candidats dans leur circonscription. Nous présentons trois estimations. Nous constatons que lorsque tous les électeurs sont considérés ensemble, les évaluations des candidats locaux sont décisives pour environ 4% des électeurs. Deuxièmement, ces évaluations sont décisives pour le résultat de 10% des élections. Troisièmement, lorsque les modèles sont estimés circonscription par circonscription, nous constatons des effets significatifs de l'évaluation pour 14% des candidats.

Type
Research Article/Étude originale
Copyright
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2018 

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