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ECPR Journals Virtual Special Issue

Do More Inclusive Selectorates Use Different Selection Criteria? Evidence from District Nominations for the German Bundestag

Political Parties
Danny Schindler
Institute for Parliamentary Research
Benjamin Höhne
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Daniel Hellmann
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Danny Schindler
Institute for Parliamentary Research

In the face of a trend towards more participatory nomination procedures empirical studies increasingly focus on how the type of selectorate affects nomination results. Yet, this string of party literature has reached some inconsistent findings which does not come as a surprise given the complexity of selection decisions. In general, research that investigates the set of successful candidates struggles with the challenge that nomination results are influenced by candidate supply. The paper takes a different and unique perspective to look at the implications of different selection procedures. Drawing on representative survey data collected at the nomination events before the 2017 Bundestag election we examine whether and, if so, how the selection criteria of inclusive and exclusive bodies to choose parliamentary candidates differ. The analysis shows that membership ballots can be associated with more open decisions as their participants attach less importance to proposals by the leadership and to the re-nomination of MPs in comparison to delegate conferences. At the same they may reach less farsighted choices since the rank-and-file also less consider the external, i.e. electoral consequences of their decisions. Hence, the study points to consequences of inclusive selection methods which may not be desired by the party leadership and probably do not serve the party’s electoral interests.
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