Do local political party members reflect the views of voters in their constituencies? Since candidate selection by local party members is the most common form of candidate selection in the UK, it is important to understand local party members’ views, and how those views relate to views in the local area. We investigate the degree to which individual members’ views match local opinion by combining the results of a large-scale survey of party members in the UK with estimates of local opinion created using multilevel regression and post-stratification. We find that individual party members’ views are moderately to strongly associated with local opinion on both left-right and liberty-authority dimensions. Even so, party members are not entirely congruent with opinion in the local area, having opinions which are either to the left or right of voters in their local area, and which are uniformly more liberal than party supporters.
|British Journal of Politics and International Relations
|Accepted/In press - 27 Nov 2023