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The Supply and Demand Model of Candidate Selection: Some Reflections

  • Joni Lovenduski

This contribution takes a look back at the supply and demand model of selection and recruitment, developed by Joni Lovenduski and Pippa Norris in Political Recruitment: Gender, Race and Class in the British Parliament (1995). The core understanding of this model was that candidate selection was an interactive process in which both selectors and aspirants affected outcomes that were organized in several sets of institutions. The model illuminates power in particular institutions – British political parties – and was designed to examine the various effects of the selection process. This contribution reflects on the model and puts forward ideas and arguments about what might be done differently, taking into account the theoretical and methodological innovations of the succeeding generation of scholars who have used the model. It also identifies remaining challenges for research on candidate selection and suggests that the supply and demand model is sufficiently flexible that it can still travel across national, system and party boundaries.

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Joni Lovenduski is Anniversary Professor of Politics at Birkbeck College, University of London. Contact email:

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Government and Opposition
  • ISSN: 0017-257X
  • EISSN: 1477-7053
  • URL: /core/journals/government-and-opposition
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