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    Why friends and neighbors? Explaining the electoral appeal of local roots

    Campbell, Rosie and Cowley, P. and Vivyan, N. and Wagner, M. (2019) Why friends and neighbors? Explaining the electoral appeal of local roots. The Journal of Politics 81 (3), pp. 937-951. ISSN 0022-3816.

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    Why do politicians with strong local roots receive more electoral support? The mechanisms underlying this well-documented ‘friends and neighbors’ effect remain largely untested. Drawing on two population-based survey experiments fielded in Britain, we provide the first experimental test of a commonly posited cue-based explanation, which argues that voters use politicians’ local roots (descriptive localism) to make inferences about politicians’ likely actions in office (behavioral localism). Consistent with the cue-based account, we find that a politician’s local roots are less predictive of voter evaluations when voters have access to explicit information about aspects of the politician’s actual behavioral localism. However, we also find that voters’ positive reaction to local roots is only partially explained by a cue-based account where voters care only about are the aspects of behavioral localism tested in this paper. Our findings inform a normative debate concerning the implications of friends-and-neighbors voting for democratic representation and accountability.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): candidate localism, candidate evaluations, friends and neighbors, conjoint analysis
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Centre for British Political Life
    Depositing User: Rosalind Campbell
    Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2018 08:25
    Last Modified: 13 Feb 2024 11:06


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