Constituting the List Amid Time of Personalisation of Politics: The Balance of Congruent and Popular Candidates in Belgian Political Parties

  • Jérémy DodeigneEmail author
  • Conrad Meulewaeter
  • Christophe Lesschaeve


This chapter analyses how Belgian party selectorates negotiate two—potentially conflicting—strategies during candidate selection procedures, namely vote-seeking strategy (recruiting ‘popular candidates’) and policy-seeking strategy (enlisting ‘party soldiers’). We hypothesise that personalised politics is not necessarily a zero-sum game—i.e. the erosion of collective ideology at the expense of individuals—because political parties can balance their lists of candidates using both strategies. To test that hypothesis, we use an innovative and consistent measurement of candidate-party congruence developed in the Belgian Candidate Survey and the Voting Aid Application. We demonstrate that Belgian parties use both strategies as a trade-off to balance their lists, even though parties are ultimately ready to sacrifice their own unity to recruit the most popular candidates.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jérémy Dodeigne
    • 1
    Email author
  • Conrad Meulewaeter
    • 2
  • Christophe Lesschaeve
    • 3
  1. 1.University of NamurNamurBelgium
  2. 2.Université catholique de LouvainLouvain-la-NeuveBelgium
  3. 3.University of LuxemburgLuxemburg CityLuxemburg

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