Anouk Lloren, Jan Rosset
Gendered policy preferences? Candidates’ views on political issues in a comparative perspective

Comparative European Politics, 2017: 15, issue 6, pp. 944–968
ISSN: 1472-4790 (print); 1740-388X (online)

This article examines whether gender affects candidates’ position on the economic and cultural dimensions of political competition in nine West European countries. Using data from the Comparative Candidate Survey, we find that female candidates hold, on average, more liberal views than their male party colleagues. These gender differences vary according to the nature of issues. Female candidates are more liberal than their party colleagues on the cultural dimension, but we find no systematic differences in policy preferences on economic issues. Moreover, gender differences vary according to parties’ ideological position on the left–right scale with a more pronounced gender gap in right-wing parties. Our findings contribute to the literature on female candidates and on the impact of women in politics more broadly.