Striving for influence: The effect of performance on candidate selection

In Party Politics

Effect of signals of performance on incumbent candidate selection to the European Parliament. Author: Silje Hermansen.


I consider how asymmetric information between the party selectorate and members of Parliament affects the renomination of incumbent candidates. By applying an adverse selection model, I argue that the selectorate looks to past performance to select candidates it expects will gain influence. However, the impact of performance varies according to the need for and availability of information.

The European Parliament (EP) provides a most-likely case for information asymmetry. Studying three elections in 11 member states, I find that the allocation of influential positions in office improves chances of reselection. The effect increases when the allocation is more selective, and when the prior uncertainty around candidacies is high. The study thus proposes a new approach to the relationship between national parties and transnational groups in the EP. It also suggests venues for research on parliamentary politics and candidate selection in general.

Replication files can be downloaded here


  • Hermansen, Silje Synnøve Lyder (2018) “Striving for influence: The effect of performance on candidate selection” Party Politics 24 (4), 382-396.