Putting Party First? Constituency Service in Denmark

Asbjørn Skjæveland, Flemming Juul Christiansen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The electoral system chosen by Danish parties and politicians appears to create strong incentives for parliamentarians to undertake activities that can be labelled constituency service. In offering parties the option of running open lists—which most do—the MPs are encouraged to cultivate a personal vote to get elected. High party unity, moreover, might also be thought to be conducive towards a strong constituency focus, in that MPs will feel less party-constrained on their ‘home patch’. This article explores whether this is the case, using both survey data and interviews with MPs. Danish legislators do not neglect their constituency, promoting and protecting its interests in a variety of ways. Yet, in light of the voting system incentives, it is surprising perhaps that they do not do more in the way of constituency service. There is some care but little surgery. It seems ‘party service’ and the attendant career gains take precedence over constituency service although the equation varies from one MP to the next.
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)23-35
Antal sider13
StatusUdgivet - 2018

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