It’s not only about the leader. Oligarchized personalization and preference voting in Belgium

Jérémy Dodeigne, Jean-Benoit Pilet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Research on the electoral personalization of politics has stressed a trend towards a greater role of top prominent political figures (party leaders and ministers). This trend was described as centralized electoral personalization. Yet, this trend is merely one side of a more complex story. No leader attracts all voters’ support, and other candidates manage to stand out despite lower resources and visibility. Using a unique dataset of 47,239 actual ballot papers cast for the 2018 Belgian local elections, we show that candidate-level, list-level and district-level factors result in distinct preference voting behaviour. While these factors lead to unmistakable forms of (de-)centralized personalized forms of elections, we furthermore, show that intermediary situations distinctively emerge. A significant number of ‘subtop’ candidates stand out among candidates, by attracting support from voters who do not support the mere leader of the list. This ‘oligarchized personalization’ would deserve greater attention in the literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-36
Number of pages13
JournalParty Politics
Volume30
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

Keywords

  • candidates
  • elections
  • intra-party competition
  • leadership
  • Personalization

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'It’s not only about the leader. Oligarchized personalization and preference voting in Belgium'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this