Do immigrant-origin candidates attract immigrant-origin voters in party-centred electoral systems? Evidence from Germany

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A burgeoning literature on minority representation asks whether immigrant-origin voters are more likely to vote for candidates of immigrant-origin (CIOs) than for native candidates, thus giving parties incentives to nominate CIOs. At present, however, evidence of such a link comes exclusively from candidate-centred electoral systems. The present study intends to narrow this gap by examining the influence of CIOs on the voting behaviour of immigrant-origin citizens in Germany, a more party-centred electoral environment. An empirical analysis of opinion survey and candidate data from the 2013 Bundestag election suggests that the electoral link between voters and CIOs is considerable. This paper is thus the first one to show that CIOs are a significant factor for the electoral mobilisation of immigrant-origin citizens in a party-centred electoral system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)492–511
Number of pages20
JournalActa Politica
Issue number3
Early online date24 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Electoral systems
  • Germany
  • Immigrant-origin candidates
  • Immigrant-origin voters
  • Party-centred electoral systems
  • Voting behaviour

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