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ECPR Joint Sessions 2020 Sciences Po Toulouse

Farmers’ Choice. The Electoral Reward of Issue Representation in a Mixed-Member System

Elections
 
Parliaments
 
Representation
 
Voting
 
Presenter
Zsófia Papp
Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences
Authors
Zsófia Papp
Centre for Social Sciences, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Abstract
Students of legislative behaviour appear to agree with Mayhew’s starting point, and consider MPs as ‘single minded seekers of re-election’. Consequently, most of the things MPs do in the present are attributed to their individual desire to future re-election. However, within the premises of legislative studies, little attention has been paid to whether MP behaviour in parliament indeed affects electoral performance. This paper aims at lessening this gap by investigating the role of policy issues in determining one’s electoral fate. I look at the occurrence of agricultural and rural development issues within Hungarian MPs’ questioning practice in parliament as well as account for the level of specialization within the legislative career of the MP by controlling for membership in the Agricultural Committee across three electoral terms. To establish the electoral connection, these two kinds of activities will be contrasted to the population setup of the MPs constituencies in terms of their rural character. A greater emphasis on agricultural issues in parliament is theorized to be reflected in the electoral performance of the legislators in constituencies with a larger proportion of agricultural population.
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