Do parties respond to ethnopolitical context when nominating and placing ethnic minority candidates in open-list proportional representation (PR) systems? Open-list PR is by nature candidate centered. Candidates need to attract preference votes to succeed. Political leaders, we argue, anticipate candidates' ability to generate support and the extent of anti-minority sentiment in districts when nominating and placing candidates. To test our arguments, we analyze data on 8945 candidates competing across 124 localities in Latvia's 2017 local elections. Few studies have explored open-list systems in countries like Latvia where preference voting routinely alters list order. Other studies stress the role that context plays in ethnic minority representation, but often lack data on crucial indicators. Our results show that parties nominated more minority candidates in localities with more ethnic minority voters and fewer in those with larger noncitizen populations. We did not, however, find that ethnopolitical context affected list placement.
- Anti-immigrant sentiment
- Candidate selection
- Contextual factors
- Ethnic minority representation
- Nomination strategy
- Open-list proportional representation