Geographical Representation Under a Single Nationwide District: The Case of the Netherlands


Previous studies have demonstrated the common occurrence of constituency focus in parliamentary questions, which is most often attributed to electoral incentives. If an electoral system makes use of a single nationwide district, however, these district-oriented electoral incentives do not apply. MPs may still substantively represent a geographical region, because they are motivated to stand up for a specific region for other reasons. This article explores the extent to which Dutch MPs pay attention in parliamentary questions and debates to specific regions. We find that those with stronger ties to a region, and especially MPs who reside in a region, are more likely to mention it in parliamentary questions and speeches. In addition, we find that this effect is stronger for provinces where regional attachment among residents is relatively stronger.

Legislative Studies Quarterly, 48(3): 591-621

This is an open access publication

This work was supported by the Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek (Grant Number: 464.18.108).

Tom Louwerse
Tom Louwerse
Associate Professor

Associate Professor in Political Science at Leiden University