The study of voting behaviour remains a vibrant sub-discipline of political science. The Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an authoritative and wide ranging survey of this dynamic field, drawing together a team of the world's leading scholars to provide a state-of-the-art review that sets the agenda for future study. Taking an interdisciplinary approach and focusing on a range of countries, the handbook is composed of eight parts. The first five cover the principal theoretical paradigms, establishing the state of the art in their conceptualisation and application, and followed by chapters on their specific challenges and innovative applications in contemporary voting studies. The remaining three parts explore elements of the voting process to understand their different effects on vote outcomes. The SAGE Handbook of Electoral Behaviour is an essential benchmark publication for advanced students, researchers and practitioners in the fields of politics, sociology, psychology and research methods.
Chapter 29: The Personal Vote
The Personal Vote
Introduction: What is the personal vote?
The personal vote is widely considered that portion of a candidate's electoral support that originates in his or her personal qualities, qualifications, activities, and record (Cain et al. 1987: 9). It thus by definition is a non-partisan vote rooted in individual candidates rather than in partisan ideologies and policies. Moreover, the literature on the issue needs to be kept distinct from debates on the personalization of politics (McAllister 2007). Students of the personal vote stress the elite level and the behavioral strategies of incumbent legislators to build personalized support bases among geographic constituents. In contrast, the concept of personalization points to the voter level and to the extent ...