Markus Baumann, Marc Debus, Tristan Klingelhöfer
Incumbent MPs, contenders and competition for the best places: Determinants of intra-party candidate selection in the run-up to the 2013 Bundestag election

26. wissenschaftlicher Kongress der Deutschen Vereinigung für Politische Wissenschaft, Universität Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg, 21. bis 25. September 2015

Can we observe that MPs who deviated from the party line – in terms of the content of the speeches they delivered in parliament – have a lower chance to be re-nominated by their party? Frequent deviations of an incumbent MP do not constitute support for the party leadership and may thus encourage the party elite to punish the deviating representatives. However, not addressing the problems existing in the respective electoral district might similarly increase the chances that an MP faces intra-party challengers. To explore these processes, we make use of a novel dataset that covers not only information on all Bundestag MPs that have run for re-election in 2013, but also on their intra-party competitors in the electoral districts. By combining this information with characteristics of the respective constituency and with the ideological position an MP adopted in her parliamentary speeches in the legislative period from 2009 until 2013, we test whether an MP was re-nominated or not because of the (missing) congruence between her positions and the party’s positions or due to the economic situation in her constituency. We find that constituency characteristics matter for the re-nomination chances for district candidates, while an increasing degree of ideological deviation from the party line results in a worse position on the party list for MPs from the opposition parties. These results have important implications for our understanding of democratic responsiveness.