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Candidate Turnover and Party System Change in Central and Eastern Europe

Sikk, A; Koeker, P; (2015) Candidate Turnover and Party System Change in Central and Eastern Europe. Presented at: ECPR General Conference, Montréal. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper looks at an important but understudied indicator of party change – the turnover of electoral candidates. We analyse 170,000 candidates in 55 elections in Central and Eastern Europe – a region with volatile political parties and party systems. We develop a measure of weighted candidate novelty (WCN) that takes into account the list placement of candidates and party size. There are significant differences in the levels of WCN between countries but at best limited evidence of more stability over time. In the second part of the paper, we contrast the findings on electoral candidate turnover to volatility scores used in previous studies. WCN is correlated to electoral volatility, but there are significant outliers. We contend that these are produced by parties that are: (a) new, but only moderately novel in terms of candidates, (b) old but have experienced significant internal change, resulting in high candidate turnover, and (c) neither genuinely old nor genuinely new. The last category of partially novel parties poses most problems for indices of party system change that assume parties that are either stationary or perfectly new.

Type: Conference item (UNSPECIFIED)
Title: Candidate Turnover and Party System Change in Central and Eastern Europe
Event: ECPR General Conference
Location: Montréal
Dates: 26 August 2015 - 29 August 2015
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences
UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1470837
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