Political Candidate Selection: Who Wins, Who Loses, and Under-Representation in the UK, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Political Candidate Selection

Who Wins, Who Loses, and Under-Representation in the UK, 1st Edition

By Jeanette Ashe


256 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138039513
pub: 2019-12-20
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The ‘secret garden of politics’ where some win and others lose their candidate selection bids and why some aspirant candidates are successful while others fail has been an enduring puzzle within political science. This book solves this puzzle by proposing and applying a universally applicable multistage approach to discover the relationship between selection rules, selectors’ biases, aspirants’ attributes, and selection outcomes.

Rare party and survey data on winning and losing candidates and insider views on what it takes to win a selection contest at multiple selection stages are compared and used to reveal the inner workings of the secret garden. With a primary focus on the British Labour party over several elections, the findings challenge many long-held assumptions about why some aspirant candidate types are successful over others and provides real-world and controversial solutions to addressing women’s and other marginalised groups’ descriptive underrepresentation. As such, it provides a much-needed fresh look at party selection processes and draws new conclusions as to why political underrepresentation occurs and should inform policies to remedy it.

This text will be of key interest to scholars and students of gender and ethnicity in politics, political parties and candidate selection, and more broadly to the study of political elites, comparative politics, sociology, labour studies, gender, race and disability studies, and to practitioners.

Table of Contents

1. Study Overview

2. The Selection Process Puzzle and Ideal Candidate Types

3. Data and Initial Supply and Demand Tests

4. Centralisation and the Labour Party’s Candidate Selection Process

5. Assessing Centralisation in the British Labour Party’s Selection Process

6. Assessing Early Stage Selector Preference for "Ideal" Candidates

7. Do Local Party Members Select "Ideal" Candidates?

8. Conclusion

About the Author

Jeanette Ashe is Chair of the Political Science Department at Douglas College, British Columbia, Canada.

About the Series

Routledge Studies on Political Parties and Party Systems

This new series focuses on major issues affecting political parties in a broad sense. Therefore, we welcome any high-quality suggestions for edited, single or co-authored books dealing with political parties and party systems in Europe and beyond (by which we mean we are also open to comparative projects examining regions outside of Europe). In particular, we would like to invite book proposals that aim to improve our present understanding of political parties and party system through the examination of the following issues:

  • the crisis of political parties and the challenges party organizations face in the contemporary world
  • the increasing internal complexity of party organizations in terms of regulation, funding, membership, etc.
  • the more frequent presence of party system change
  • the development of political parties and party systems in under-researched countries

We are open to a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches. Comparative works will be certainly privileged. We also encourage proposals with a strong policy-impact focus.

For guidance on how to structure your proposal, please visit: www.routledge.com/info/authors

Book proposals should be sent to the series editors:

Ingrid van Biezen [email protected]

Fernando Casal Bértoa [email protected]

Learn more…

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