Selecting the ‘right sort’: Patterns of Political Recruitment at British By-elections

Evans, Elizabeth. 2012. Selecting the ‘right sort’: Patterns of Political Recruitment at British By-elections. Parliamentary Affairs, 65(1), pp. 195-213. ISSN 0031-2290 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Analyses of by-elections traditionally focus on explorations of electoral behaviour, rather than on patterns of political recruitment. However, whom the parties select is important, as the candidate essentially constitutes the temporary face of the party. Furthermore, each party adapts their selection rules during by-elections to facilitate a greater role for the centre in the process. Combining qualitative research with selection and election data, this article explores intra-party tensions regarding the candidate selection process by focusing on the success rates of three specific groups of candidates: political insiders, women and locals. Focusing on by-election political recruitment provides an opportunity to assess the various tensions that arise over candidate selection between central strategists and local party activists, during intense and high profile campaigns.

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1 February 2012Published
1 May 2011Accepted

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05 Oct 2016 16:46

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30 Jun 2017 10:32

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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