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Publication Detail
Candidate Turnover as a Measure of Party Change
  • Publication Type:
    Conference presentation
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Sikk A, Koeker
  • Date:
  • Status:
  • Name of Conference:
    APSA Annual Meeting
  • Conference place:
    San Francisco
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
  • Keywords:
    party change, new parties, electoral candidates
We propose candidate turnover as a new measure of party change. Political parties can evolve or stagnate, but the concept of party change has so far been elusive and standardised approaches to its measurement remain wanting. Candidate turnover provides a straightforward numerical index that offers a reliable measure of party change. Empirically, we analyse the levels of candidate turnover in nearly 1,000 parties contesting more than 60 elections in Central and East Europe (CEE). CEE is a particularly suitable testing ground for the new measure as many parties in the region have experienced high levels and various forms of party change while others have been remarkably stable. Candidate novelty helps to identify new political parties and candidate dropout rates the disappearing ones, but the degree of candidate turnover can also help to measure levels of internal change among continuing parties. This paper analyses the relationship between candidate turnover and other aspects of party change such as: (a) party entry and exit; (b) changes in electoral support; (c) programmatic changes; (d) leadership changes and (e) splinters, mergers and electoral coalitions. Throughout, we use our expertise on CEE parties to discuss interesting individual cases.
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