Do Candidates’ Ethnic Background and Gender Matter? An Experimental Approach

  • Sylvain Brouard
  • Elisa Deiss-Helbig
  • Mirjam Dageförde
Part of the New Perspectives in German Political Studies book series (NPG)


This chapter deals with the little analyzed (in the European context) impact of MPs’ ethnic and gender characteristics on voter choice by drawing on survey experiment data. The analysis shows mixed results. Although candidate gender does not seem to have any impact on the likelihood of supporting parliamentary candidates, having specific ethnic backgrounds can be an electoral burden. However, as with previous studies, the effect depends on voters’ ideological positions. The analysis also shows that, regardless of a candidate’s socio-demographic characteristics, it is party affiliation that matters most for voter choice in both countries. These are noteworthy results particularly for the case of France with its well-known candidate-centered electoral system.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sylvain Brouard
    • 1
  • Elisa Deiss-Helbig
    • 2
  • Mirjam Dageförde
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.CEVIPOF, Sciences-PoParisFrance
  2. 2.Department of Comparative Politics and Political SociologyUniversity of StuttgartStuttgartGermany
  3. 3.Department of Political and Social SciencesEuropean University InstituteFlorenceItaly
  4. 4.Centre d’études européennes, Sciences-PoParisFrance

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