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Candidate Selection in British Second Order Elections: A Comparison of Electoral System and Party Strategy Effects

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Whilst most UK political parties have now accepted the need to increase the number of women representatives, the stark reality is that women remain under-represented. The under-representation of women in UK politics is not just evident in the national legislature but is a pattern repeated, to varying degrees, in second order elections at local, devolved and European levels. Recent developments in political recruitment processes allow us to explore the extent to which political parties take advantage of different electoral systems to promote women candidates in second order elections. Providing analysis of (s)election data from across second order elections, this article explores the interaction between systemic and institutional strategies, questioning which combination of electoral system and party strategy is most beneficial for increasing levels of women's representation.

Keywords: electoral systems; second order elections; women's representation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Kingston University, Kingston-upon-Thames, UK 2: University of the West of England, Bristol, UK< xmlns:xlink="" xlink:href="">, Email:, URL:, Email:, URL:">

Publication date: 2012-06-01

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