Acta Politica

, Volume 52, Issue 2, pp 241–260 | Cite as

The within-district distribution of party candidates: A geographical analysis of party lists for Belgian lower house elections

  • Gert-Jan Put
  • Bart Maddens
  • Frederik Verleden
Original Article


Both political science and electoral geography scholars have demonstrated that locally rooted candidates matter in parliamentary elections. This article examines whether parties change the within-district distribution of party candidates to respond to local electoral volatility. If parties significantly lose votes in an area, they might consider compensating for this loss by increasing the number of local candidates in that area. Using data on the composition of candidate lists and election results for the Belgian Lower House (1987–2010) of eight political parties, we analyze the relationship between local vote shares and local candidate shares. In addition, we examine whether parties’ nomination strategies are determined by the nature of their candidate selection processes. The OLS regression model shows that Belgian parties generally increase local candidate shares in response to local electoral setbacks. We found weak support for the argument that strategies on the within-district distribution of party candidates are related to intraparty candidate selection processes.


electoral geography candidate selection local candidates local electoral volatility Belgium 


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gert-Jan Put
    • 1
  • Bart Maddens
    • 1
  • Frederik Verleden
    • 2
  1. 1.Public Governance Institute, KU Leuven3000 LeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.Centre for Political Research, KU Leuven3000 LeuvenBelgium

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