A Caltech Library Service

The constituency service basis of the personal vote for U.S. Representatives and British Members of Parliament

Cain, Bruce E. and Ferejohn, John A. and Fiorina, Morris P. (1984) The constituency service basis of the personal vote for U.S. Representatives and British Members of Parliament. American Political Science Review, 78 (1). pp. 110-125. ISSN 0003-0554. doi:10.2307/1961252.

Full text is not posted in this repository. Consult Related URLs below.

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Under the guise of the "incumbency advantage," American research of the past decade has devoted heavy emphasis to what may be termed the @'personal vote@' in congressional elections. Is this phenomenon purely American, or is it susceptible to comparative treatment? This article contrasts the personal vote in the 1980 U.S. House elections with that in the 1979 British general election. The analysis utilizes data from surveys conducted by the Center for Political Studies and British Gallup in combination with interviews of congressional administrative assistants (AAs) and British MPs and party agents whose constituencies fall in the sampling frames of the mass surveys. The analysis finds an incumbency advantage or personal vote in Britain which is much weaker than that in the United States but of somewhat greater importance than is commonly believed. As in the United States, constituency service appears to be an important component of the personal vote.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription ItemWorking Paper
Additional Information:© 1984 American Political Science Association. Received: June 15, 1982; Revision received: February 1, 1983; Accepted for publication: June 6, 1983. The research reported in this article was made possible through support of the National Science Foundation (grants SOC78-15413 and SES8010662). For comments on earlier versions of this article we thank James Alt, Ivor Crewe, Gillian Peele, Richard Rose, and Graham Wilson; all were helpful, none is responsible. Formerly SSWP 439.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Voting, Incumbents, Constituents, Political parties, Political science, Political candidates, Conservatism, Party identification, Congressional elections, Political elections
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171115-164433438
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83246
Deposited By: Jacquelyn Bussone
Deposited On:16 Nov 2017 18:23
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 19:56

Repository Staff Only: item control page