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Publication Detail
Party entry, exit and candidate turnover
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    Sikk A, Köker P
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  • Name of conference:
    ECPR General Conference
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  • Keywords:
    new parties, party systems, candidates, big data
We analyse party entry and exit through the lens of candidate turnover using a dataset on 200,000 candidates in 61 Central and Eastern European (CEE) elections. Amongst new parties – as defined in three widely used datasets – candidate novelty is generally high, but there are prominent cases with low novelty. Several significant parties have intermediate levels of novelty – such partially new parties defy classification as new or continuing. Full party exit is rare as parties tend to leave behind many important candidates. We complement the quantitative analysis of candidate turnover with in depth discussion of particular problematic cases. The contentious cases of party entry and exit significantly affect volatility indices – particularly those that distinguish between intra- and extra-system volatility. The impossibility of coding partially new parties “correctly” as new or old challenges the dichotomous notion of party newness. The problem is particularly common in Central and Eastern Europe, but significant instances of partially new parties can be found everywhere. This paper also offers suggestions on improved ways to measure party system change.
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