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Open/Closed List and Party Choice: Experimental Evidence from the UK

Blumenau, J; Eggers, AC; Hangartner, D; Hix, S; (2017) Open/Closed List and Party Choice: Experimental Evidence from the UK. British Journal of Political Science , 47 (04) pp. 809-827. 10.1017/S0007123415000629. Green open access

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Abstract

Which parties benefit from open-list (as opposed to closed-list) proportional representation elections? This article shows that a move from closed-list to open-list competition is likely to be more favorable to parties with more internal disagreement on salient issues; this is because voters who might have voted for a unified party under closed lists may be drawn to specific candidates within internally divided parties under open lists. The study provides experimental evidence of this phenomenon in a hypothetical European Parliament election in the UK, in which using an open-list ballot would shift support from UKIP (the Eurosceptic party) to Eurosceptic candidates of the Conservative Party. The findings suggest that open-list ballots could restrict support for parties that primarily mobilize on a single issue.

Type: Article
Title: Open/Closed List and Party Choice: Experimental Evidence from the UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0007123415000629
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1017/S0007123415000629
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10041027
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