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Partisan Ties in Local and Legislative Elections: A Comparison of Chile and Turkey

Özge Kemahlıoğlu
Sabancı University
Özge Kemahlıoğlu
Sabancı University
Open Panel

Abstract

The paper explores whether incumbency at one level of government entails electoral advantages for co-partisans at another level of government. Two unitary countries with strong central government, Chile and Turkey, are studied. I analyze legislative elections to examine if municipal control helped the opposition parties (at the national level) to improve their vote shares. With respect to national incumbency advantage, I argue that nationally prominent legislators’ ties to the municipalities increase resources to the municipalities and hence improve the parties’ vote shares in these municipalities. This also provides an explanation for why we see variation in local and national incumbency advantage across time and parties (in Turkey.) Socio-economic data, when available, is incorporated in the analysis to examine if the parties benefit more from partisan ties to the national government in less developed areas. For Chile, provincial level municipal and legislative election results from the pre-and-pro coup period are also compared to see whether changes in the electoral system and the decline in clientelism had an impact.