Moving up or down: parliamentary activity and candidate selection


Although often theorised, empirical research concerning the relationship between parties’ candidate selection and MPs’ parliamentary activity is scarce. Our analysis focuses on the Dutch case, which features national party lists. It is therefore well-suited to examine the relationship between parliamentary activity (in terms of speeches, resolutions, amendments and questions) and candidate selection: are MPs reselected and do they move up or down the candidate list from one election to the next? We expect that more active MPs have a higher probability of reselection and promotion, i.e. moving up the candidate list. The empirical analysis of the Dutch lower house of Parliament between 1998 and 2017 combines data from the Dutch Parliamentary Behaviour Dataset with data on parliamentary speech-making. Our main finding is that speaking in the plenary is the parliamentary activity most strongly related to reselection and promotion.

The Journal of Legislative Studies, 28(2): 216-242

This is an open access publication

The article was first published online on 22 February 2021.

Tom Louwerse
Tom Louwerse
Associate Professor

Associate Professor in Political Science at Leiden University