Dual candidacy as a source of legislator behaviour. The re-election and the mandate incentive under mixed-member electoral rules

  • Zsófia PappEmail author
Original Article


Legislators are often viewed as ‘single-minded seekers of re-election’, and hence their actions are attributed to their ultimate goal of staying in office. However, an alternative approach ‘liberates’ legislators from the ever continuing struggle for re-election and argues that MPs carry out certain tasks simply because it is part of their jobs. This study is an attempt to empirically separate re-election and mandate incentives in the MPs’ behaviour. Hungary’s mixed-member electoral system with dual candidacy creates a situation in which the two types of incentives can be separately observed. If mandate incentives prevail there should be a difference between SMD and list MPs, while re-election motivations offer the dominant explanation to MP behaviour if the difference is between MPs nominated in SMDs and those who are not. Analysing legislators’ attitudes and behaviour between 2010 and 2014 it is found that although re-election incentives indeed prevail in the MPs’ behaviour, the effect of the mandate strongly characterizes attitudes creating a tension between what MPs do and what they think they should be doing.


Legislators Parliament Electoral rules Hungary Constituency orientation Voting dissent 



Funding was provided by János Bolyai Scholarship and the National Research, Development and Innovation Office (Grant Nos. PD115747 and K119603).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author declares no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

41269_2019_143_MOESM1_ESM.docx (23 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 23 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Social SciencesHungarian Academy of SciencesBudapestHungary

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