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Electoral Performance by Post-Rebel Parties

  • Carrie Manning and Ian Smith

This article explores the factors affecting post-rebel party electoral performance. We present new research tracking the participation of these groups in national legislative elections from 1990 to 2016. Our full data set covers 77 parties and 286 elections in 37 countries. It includes parties formed after conflicts of varying length and intensity, with different incompatibilities, in every region of the world, and in countries with disparate political histories. Our analysis suggests that post-rebel parties’ early electoral performance strongly affects future performance, and that competition – crowd-out by older rival parties – and pre-war organizational experience in politics have a significant positive effect, particularly for those parties that are consistently winning more than about 10 per cent of seats. But especially for parties that consistently win very low seat shares, organizational characteristics yield increasingly to environmental factors, most importantly the presence of rival parties and the barriers to representation presented by electoral rules.

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Carrie Manning is Professor of Political Science at Georgia State University. Contact email:

Ian Smith is Visiting Instructor of Political Science at St Mary’s University, San Antonio, Texas. Contact email:

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Government and Opposition
  • ISSN: 0017-257X
  • EISSN: 1477-7053
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