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Do voters reward rebellion? The electoral accountability of MPs in Britain.

Vivyan, Nick and Wagner, Markus (2012) 'Do voters reward rebellion? The electoral accountability of MPs in Britain.', European journal of political research., 51 (2). pp. 235-264.


To hold their Members of Parliament individually accountable for their legislative behaviour, British voters would need to base their decision to vote for an MP at least partially on the extent to which the MP's legislative voting behaviour deviated from that of the MP's party leadership. Voters should evaluate this deviation contingent on their views of the party leadership. MP rebellion can signal that voter–MP congruence is greater than that of the voter and the MP's party leadership. In this article it is found that only constituents with negative attitudes toward the Labour government reward rebellious Labour MPs, albeit to a limited extent. A similar conditional association is not observed on a single issue: Iraq. The policy accountability of MPs is relatively weak and general rather than issue-specific.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Accountability, British politics, Legislative behaviour, Single-member districts, Voting behaviour.
Full text:PDF - Accepted Version (439Kb)
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Publisher statement:This is the accepted version of the following article: Vivyan, Nick & Wagner, Markus (2012), Do voters reward rebellion? The electoral accountability of MPs in Britain. European Journal of Political Research, 51(2): 235-264, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Record Created:25 Jul 2012 10:50
Last Modified:06 May 2016 10:03

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