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Candidate image and electoral preference in Britain

Shephard, M and Johns, R (2008) 'Candidate image and electoral preference in Britain.' British Politics, 3 (3). 324 - 349. ISSN 1746-918X

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Abstract

The UK Electoral Commission has recommended pilot testing of ballot papers printed with photographs of the candidates. In the light of US studies showing that voters make judgements about politicians based on appearance, and that these judgements can influence vote, we conducted an experiment to explore the potential impact of candidate appearance on voting behaviour in Britain. Our findings indicate that, even controlling for the partisanship of both the MP and the respondent, trait evaluations based on appearance are significant and, in the case of 'warmth' traits like likeability and caring, powerful predictors of probability to vote. We find little evidence of electoral advantage for those candidates who 'trespass' on traits associated with the opposing party; in general, the traits rewarded in candidates vary little according to the partisanship of either the candidate or the resoondent. © 2008 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2013 10:27
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2019 23:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/7591

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