Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Pretty faces, marginal races: Predicting election outcomes using trait assessments of British parliamentary candidates

Mattes, Kyle; Milazzo, Caitlin

Authors

Kyle Mattes



Abstract

The conventional wisdom on Western European politics leads us to believe that all the "action" lies with parties, because the unified parliamentary delegations in Western Europe draw voters' attention to parties' policies and images. Though British elections take place under a single member district plurality system, British parties, like their continental counterparts, are highly centralised and feature disciplined parliamentary delegations. Despite the strong ties between British candidates and their parties, we demonstrate that perceptions of candidates' personal attributes can be used to predict general election outcomes. Using a computer-based survey where subjects are asked to evaluate real British candidates using only rapidly determined first impressions of facial images, we successfully predict outcomes from the 2010 general election. Moreover, we find that perceptions of candidates' relative attractiveness are particularly useful for predicting outcomes in marginal constituencies. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Citation

Mattes, K., & Milazzo, C. (2014). Pretty faces, marginal races: Predicting election outcomes using trait assessments of British parliamentary candidates. Electoral Studies, 34, 177-189. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2013.11.004

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 14, 2013
Online Publication Date Nov 26, 2013
Publication Date 2014-06
Deposit Date Jul 29, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 29, 2016
Journal Electoral Studies
Print ISSN 0261-3794
Electronic ISSN 0261-3794
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 34
Pages 177-189
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.electstud.2013.11.004
Keywords British Elections, Candidate Traits, Electoral Competition
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/35011
Publisher URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0261379413001819
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0

Files

Pretty Faces Marginal Races (07-08-13).pdf (536 Kb)
PDF

Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0





You might also like



Downloadable Citations