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Political Leaders and Democratic Elections$
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Kees Aarts, André Blais, and Hermann Schmitt

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199259007

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199259007.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 August 2020

Elections as Beauty Contests

Elections as Beauty Contests

Do the Rules Matter?

(p.91) 6 Elections as Beauty Contests
Political Leaders and Democratic Elections

John Curtice

Sarinder Hunjan

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines claims that parliamentary elections have become ‘presidentialized’. It argues that there is no evidence to support the claim that parliamentary elections now resemble presidential contests. Leader evaluations clearly have far less influence on the way people vote in parliamentary elections than they do in presidential contests. Although leader evaluations are relatively more important in a two-party system and/or in a majoritarian electoral system, they still do not approach the level of importance they typically have in presidential elections. Only when a parliamentary election takes place alongside a presidential contest does it approach the characteristics of the latter.

Keywords:   presidential elections, parliamentary elections, leadership evaluations, voters, voting behaviour

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