Productivity and Reselection in a Party-based Environment: Evidence from the Portuguese Case

Productivity and Reselection in a Party-based Environment: Evidence from the Portuguese Case Abstract Portugal is a crucial case when studying candidate reselection in a party-dominated setting. While we expect the productivity of Members of Parliament (MP) to be strongly associated with reselection, it should not affect the position of reselected representatives on the party list. These expectations are tested using data on MPs' parliamentary activities across eight years (from 2007 to 2015), while controlling for alternative hypotheses. Although the two main hypotheses are confirmed, we found that both electoral vulnerability and district magnitude condition the effect of MPs’ productivity on reselection. Overall, the results are in line with the literature on reselection and suggest that other factors, such as party loyalty, may be germane to the understanding of the reselection process in Portugal. 1. Introduction A well-established research tradition within party politics suggests that the process of candidate selection is guided by factors such as the electoral system, the type of territorial organisation, the specificities of the region and candidates’ motivations (Gallagher and Marsh, 1988; Lundell, 2004; Shomer, 2012). However, we still know very little about the causes of reselection, that is when incumbent legislators are reconfirmed as candidates in the next elections. The simple but significant issue addressed in this study is whether MPs in a closed-list PR system are reselected as a consequence of their parliamentary work. Second, we ask whether a hard-working MP is likely to be ranked higher on the list when reselected. The study of reselection is of vital theoretical importance for our understanding of representative democracies. First, reselection is a key tool for effective accountability because it allows voters to take incumbents’ performance into account and to reward (or punish) MPs (Manin, 1997; Navarro, 2014). Second, the study of reselection may elucidate patterns of political recruitment, that is the criteria that allow potential candidates to enter into Parliament, their profile and their behaviour (Norris, 1997; Best and Cotta, 2000). At the same time, it is also an important phenomenon because it helps understand an essential aspect of intra-party politics and one of the main conflictual issues among party elites (Katz, 2001). Finally, reselection is linked to MPs–voter relations, in particular how legislators perceive their mandates, for example their focus and style of representation—and whether some MPs are more likely to engage in constituency service than others. Candidate selection has been traditionally considered ‘the secret garden of politics’ given the control that party elites exert over this process and the lack of transparency that characterises the choice of prospective MPs. Party statutes do not say much on the issue and in most countries, with the notable exception of Germany (see Detterbeck, 2016), there is no legal regulation of this important internal party process. Some party directorates may elaborate general guidelines that orientate the choice of candidates, especially in terms of social and political background, for example gender, age, membership in civic organisations or social movements, etc. However, we know very little about informal processes. The main research question of this study is whether a legislator’s parliamentary output influences the chances of being reselected and his/her ballot position at the next election. It contributes to the comparative literature by testing this relationship in the case of Portugal, where the electoral incentives for personalised activity are minimal.1 Since becoming a democracy, Portugal has adopted a closed-list PR system in which candidate selection is centralised in the hands of the party selectorate. This means that the Portuguese case can be considered as a least likely setting to find a connection between MPs’ individual activities focusing on the constituency and re-election pressures. On the other hand, while we know MPs’ activities vary greatly, it is unclear why some representatives are more productive than others. We expect MPs to use parliamentary activities, among other functions, as a reputation-enhancing tool to increase their chances of being perceived as an asset for the party and thus of being reselected. In fact, other determinants may be more important to the positioning on the selection list. For instance, party officers of former MPs who display loyalty to the leadership (i.e. voting along party lines) are expected to be important criteria for reselection. Testing these hypotheses helps shed new light on the representative functions of MPs and the role of political parties in political recruitment. The next section outlines the theoretical framework by discussing the literature on MPs’ reselection. We then describe the main features of the institutional and political background in the Portuguese case. This is followed by a presentation of the data, variable operationalisation and estimation procedure in Section 4. After presenting and discussing the results, we summarise the findings and examine their implications. 2. Explaining reselection: theoretical arguments and hypotheses There is broad agreement in legislative studies that MPs primarily seek reselection (Mayhew, 1974; Müller and Strøm, 1999). Although legislators may have other ambitions, such as influencing public policies or being appointed to a government position, reelection is often considered to be their overarching goal. Yet when party organisations dominate the electoral and legislative arena, leaving no space for independents or party switchers, the decision on reselection lies first and foremost with the party's central office (Riera, 2011). In a party-centred setting, the process of candidate selection is thus central to understand how parties aim to improve their performance and coordinate the activities and functions of representatives. While a vast amount of studies describe how candidates are selected, little attention has been paid to the factors that may explain why some MPs are reselected but others are not. In an attempt to fill this lacuna, this study draws on an original dataset to investigate the causes of reselection. What are the drivers of MPs' reselection? Several determinants are highlighted in the literature and can be divided into two main groups. The first is related to the individual profile of representatives and concerns their qualities and behaviour as agents of voters and/or parties. The second is associated with party-related features and therefore belongs to the meso-level of the party system and takes the role of MPs at the aggregate level. Our key variable is MPs' performance in the parliamentary arena. Representatives’ activities usually imply speeches, the elaboration of legislative proposals, the drafting of motions and questions, as well as constituency and committee work. Some authors have noticed that parliamentary activity provides MPs with higher levels of visibility because the mass media coverage of legislators’ activities and new digital communication tools available to them boost their image in the public opinion (Lazardeux, 2005; Bowler, 2010, p. 481; Martin, 2011). But parliamentary productivity is also a matter of credibility, which may strengthen the ties between MPs, voters and political parties. While the determinants of re-election have been extensively investigated in the literature, studies focusing on the relationship between legislative performance and reselection are scarce. In the Italian case, Marangoni and Russo (2016) found the impact is mediated by the personal connection between the legislator and his/her constituency. On the other hand, a study on European elections found that drafting reports increases the probability of the MEP being placed in a high (i.e. safe) position on the list for re-election (Hermansen and Lyder, 2016). This finding is also confirmed by Navarro (2014), who found MEPs’ productivity had a small but significant impact on the likelihood of reselection. Taking into account these findings, our overall hypothesis is that the higher the parliamentary output of the legislator, the higher the chances of being reselected (H1). The impact of MP productivity is likely to be conditional on the incentives generated by electoral pressures. A number of studies found that electoral vulnerability, the perceived (by MPs) probability of being ousted from office at the next election, significantly affects the productivity of legislators (Navarro, 2014; Kellermann 2016). The rationale behind this hypothesis suggests that MPs who are more vulnerable are likely to exert more effort in their parliamentary work to secure their office. Vulnerable MPs may use their parliamentary performance not only to signal their efficiency to the party leadership, but also as a tool to cultivate a personal vote. Overall, electoral vulnerability is expected to boost MPs parliamentary activities with the aim of increasing their reputation and visibility. There is mixed evidence on the importance of electoral vulnerability. While it seems to play an important role in the USA (Burden, 2004; Griffin, 2006), the studies on European countries do not find consistent effects (see Lazardeux, 2005; Rasch, 2009; Soroka et al., 2009; Kellermann, 2016; Louwerse and Otjes, 2016). Recent comparative research confirms the impact of vulnerability on constituency efforts (André et al., 2015). However, when we limit the analysis to parliamentary questions, the evidence is again contradictory (Martin, 2011; Blidook and Kerby, 2011; Russo, 2011). A recent study on the Portuguese parliament confirms that ‘vulnerable’ MPs have a greater tendency to submit parliamentary questions (Fernandes et al., 2017). We therefore expect vulnerability to interact positively with productivity by increasing the chances of MPs’ reselection, all else being equal (H1a). The link between parliamentary performance and reselection may also be mediated by the electoral system. As Norris noted in her ground-breaking study (1997), the structure of opportunities, and the electoral system in particular, interacts with the demand side, namely the (formal or informal) criteria used by gatekeepers. District magnitude is a crucial feature of the electoral system. In districts with a small magnitude, party competitiveness is usually higher and minor parties are less likely to elect representatives. In this context, deputies may rely on their close links to voters, they usually control important resources to connect with the electorate and it is easier for the selectorate to have key information on the candidates most deserving of reselection. Therefore, we hypothesise that MPs productivity will be more important for candidate reselection in districts with higher magnitude than in districts with a small magnitude (district magnitude, H1.b). Some deputies are rewarded by the party selectorate through an appointment to a safer position, whereas others are punished by lowering their positions on the list. While there are a number of studies on intra-party competition under preferential vote systems or when candidates are selected through primaries, the criteria that guide the elaboration of party lists is an unexplored aspect of political recruitment (but see Katz, 1980). When the process of candidate selection is centralised, party directorates are kingmakers as they control who will go up or down on the party list. Consequently, incumbency and party position, that is whether the candidate holds a party office, are two factors that may provide a plausible explanation for the composition of party lists. Additionally, parliamentary performance may also influence party list allocation, in particular whether or not a prospective MP is placed in the same position on the list following selection. To the best of our knowledge, there are no studies testing the impact of MPs’ performance on the composition of the list of candidates. Drawing on Portuguese and Spanish cases, Montabes and Ortega (1999) found that moving up the party list is not governed by principles of seniority. Candidates placed in the lowest ranks of the party list do not automatically move up to winning positions. In other words, first-time candidates may go straight to the top of the party list, whereas MPs in lower positions do not necessarily become electable. In their study on Italy, a closed list PR system, Galasso and Nannicini (2015) showed that loyalists, i.e. former MPs or those occupying a party position, are usually allocated to safe positions, while experts, or ‘independents’, are placed in unsecure positions. Hence, our second hypothesis is that loyalist MPs are more likely to gain safe seats, regardless of their performance in the Parliament (H2). 3. The Portuguese case Portugal is a suitable case for examining reselection in a party-based environment, namely a setting where legislators’ careers are heavily constrained by party organisations. First, it has been noted that MPs’ constituency orientation focuses mainly on the national rather than the local level and representatives do not spend much time on constituency activities (Teixeira, 2009; Teixeira et al., 2012). Secondly, Portugal has a proportional representation system with 22 multi-member constituencies and closed lists. As shown by previous studies (Shomer 2012), this feature has a crucial influence on the candidate selection process and it strengthens party discipline. Voters do not have a say in the selection of their preferred representative, and candidates’ names do not appear on the ballot list. Thus, party organisations are key gatekeepers in the selection of parliamentarians and in holding them accountable. This control is strengthened by Parliament’s rules, which grant numerous privileges and competences to party directorates and parliamentary groups (PG). For instance, the distribution of resources (e.g. debate time), the setting of the parliamentary agenda and the election of decision-making bodies is managed at the PG-level. In addition, procedural rules and institutional constraints help raise the level of cohesion in Portuguese parties. The overall impression among Portuguese voters is that MPs lack effective and solid links to their constituencies. However, MPs’ attitudes vary significantly according to district magnitude (Teixeira et al., 2012). In small districts, notably in the non-coastal area, representatives display stronger ties to their constituencies than MPs in larger districts. Therefore, the variation in district magnitude is an important characteristic that may interact with MPs’ performance. A number of studies have drawn attention to the high level of centralisation in the candidate selection process in Portugal (Freire, 2001; Lobo, 2003; Teixeira, 2009; Freire and Teixeira, 2011). In particular, the party in central office is responsible for the choice of prospective MPs, and the party leaders often have the final say on the party list to be submitted to voters. Nonetheless, some differences between parties should be noted. While radical left parties, particularly the PCP (Portuguese Communist Party), emphasise the involvement of party cadres and value the work of activists, the two mainstream parties (Socialist Party, PS, and Social Democratic Party, PSD) tend to be more open and inclusive, and they also show a relatively higher level of decentralisation. Although the Constitution establishes that MPs' mandates are based on national representation rather than territorial criteria, parties are the main de facto gatekeepers for achieving political representation. In a recent comparative work, Krouwel (2012, p. 252) considers Portugal to be in the group of countries (along with Greece, Italy and the Netherlands) characterised by a process of ‘candidate selection substantially in the hands of the elite’. 4. Data and methods To test our hypotheses, we draw on data about written questions and legislative bills tabled by Portuguese MPs over three legislatures: 10th (2005–2009), 11th (2009–2011) and 12th (2011–2015). A major revision of Portuguese standing orders in 2007 restructured (among other things) the instrument of parliamentary questions and the organisation of parliamentary committees (Seguro, 2016); we therefore consider only the last two post-reform years (2007–2009) of the 10th legislature. Data were retrieved from the official website of the Assembleia da República (www.parlamento.pt) for all 901 MPs who spent at least one day in parliament. Data on MPs’ biographies were collected for the X and XI legislatures by Freire et al. (2009) and for the XII legislature by Freire et al. (2015). Gaps in these databases were filled by the authors. We also conducted eight face-to-face interviews with representatives from all parliamentary parties, asking questions about MPs’ activities and the process of candidate selection. The interviews took place in January and February 2017. Our unit of analysis is the individual MPs. It is not rare for MPs to be substituted during their mandate either temporarily (because of extended leave) or permanently. By law, these vacancies are to be filled by the next fellow candidate on the respective party (or coalition) list.2 Our data show that this rule is used extensively by parties and individual MPs (see online Appendix). On average, a quarter of active MPs during our three legislatures are substitutes. While the smallest share of substitutions was that of the PSD during the short 11th legislature (2 per cent, 19 per cent on average during our three legislatures), the CDS-PP stands out for its high replacement rate in the 10th legislature (54 per cent, 32 per cent on average). As a result of this between-election intra-party turnover, the duration of individual parliamentary mandates varies substantially. Only 59 per cent of MPs in our data set complete their mandates; 19 per cent stayed in parliament for a period between a few days and a quarter of the legislature (see online Appendix). Since our main independent variable, legislative activity, hinges to some extent on the time available in parliament to an MP, the following analysis focuses only on those MPs who were officially ‘active’ in parliament at least 50 per cent of the time in each legislature. This filtering aims to create a level playing field for comparison. Furthermore, we eliminated MPs from the small Green party (PEV), which had no more than two MPs in any legislature, and MPs elected in the two districts representing the Portuguese living abroad in Europe and in the rest of the World. As a result, our final dataset comprises 672 MPs. 4.1 Dependent variables Our first dependent variable is whether the MP was reselected for the party list at the next election. The operationalisation is straightforward and has a value of 1 if the MP’s name reappeared on one of the party’s electoral lists, regardless of the district. The proportion of non-reselected MPs in our subset is 29 per cent. As expected, there are differences across parties and legislatures (Figure 1). Starting with the largest mainstream parties, PSD and PS, the proportion of non-reselected candidates reaches up to 60 per cent and 49 per cent respectively. In contrast, smaller parliamentary groups exhibit quite strong continuity in their composition. The two exceptions are both found in the 12th legislature: the Left Bloc (BE) reconfirmed only half of its MPs while the People’s party (CDS-PP) did not reselect 40 per cent of its MPs. The 11th legislature has the lowest replacement rate of the period. This is probably due to its relatively short duration; some MPs were reselected to allow them to complete their full four-year mandate.3 Figure 1 View largeDownload slide Proportion of reselected MPs by party and legislative term. Note: figures are percentages of reselected MPs. Source: own data. Figure 1 View largeDownload slide Proportion of reselected MPs by party and legislative term. Note: figures are percentages of reselected MPs. Source: own data. Our second dependent variable circumscribes the data set to those MPs who were reselected (n = 432) and it measures whether MPs’ position on the list either increases, decreases or stays the same at the next election (categorical variable with three levels). Since MPs sometimes change the district in which they compete in different legislatures, we do not compare list positions but electoral vulnerability scores as defined by André et al. (2015). Vulnerability scores are computed by dividing the list position occupied by an MP at t−1 and t respectively by the total number of seats the party won in the district at t−1. Take, for instance, a candidate who occupies the 4th position on the list in the Lisbon district. She is elected because her party is awarded 8 seats in the district and her vulnerability is 0.5 (4/8). If at the next election, she is still reconfirmed 4th on the list but this time she runs for the district of Porto, where her party gained only 5 seats in the last election, her vulnerability increases to 0.8 (=4/5). On the other hand, if she runs again for the Lisbon district but occupies the second position, her vulnerability is half that of the previous legislature (2/8 = 0.25). Figure 2 illustrates the distribution of MPs in the three categories across parties and legislatures.4 Small parties display the greater stability in list position from one legislature to the others. BE, PCP and (to some extent) the CDS-PP are expected to win seats only in selected districts and this constrains their range of choices. Among these, the PCP stands out for the lowest internal mobility. Figure 2 View largeDownload slide Change in list position of re-selected MPs by party and legislative term. Source: own data. Figure 2 View largeDownload slide Change in list position of re-selected MPs by party and legislative term. Source: own data. 4.2 Independent and control variables We selected two measures of legislative activity: number of written parliamentary questions and legislative bills. Since the revision of the Standing Orders in 2007 (Seguro, 2016), there have been two types of written parliamentary questions: questions to the government (perguntas ao governo) and information requests (requerimentos). We focus on the former because they are the only ones directed exclusively to ministers and they generally deal with more politically relevant matters.5 MPs can table questions as the only signatory or together with other party members. The median MP in our data set tables 13.5 questions. On the other hand, the interquartile range of 51 questions reveals striking differences among MPs. MPs from large parties submit a substantially lower number of questions or no questions at all (only 17 per cent of MPs, all from either the PSD or PS, have no record). Whereas it is extremely rare for members of different parties to co-sign a question, this occurs more frequently with legislative bills, our second activity indicator. Up to 20 MPs can sign a bill according to the rules of procedures. The median MP signs 4 bills, although there is still considerable variation across and within parties (interquartile range of 13). Since there is no rule ascribing the responsibility (and the visibility which comes with it) of parliamentary questions or legislative bills to the first signatory, the number of questions was calculated as both the number of questions/bills submitted as co-signatory (PQ_CO-SIGN, BILL_CO-SIGN) and as first signatory (PQ_1SIGN, BILL_1SIGN). For instance, representative X co-signed 30 questions but only 5 of them feature X as the first signatory. We computed the log of these indicators to account for the progressively decreasing importance additional questions and bills have as they accumulate in an MP’s record. Finally, we include interactions between our main activity indicators and district magnitude and vulnerability, respectively. MAGNITUDE is operationalised as the log of the number of parliamentary seats assigned to a district. VULNERABILITY employs André et al.’s (2015) formulation. Our models test a range of alternative explanatory factors of reselection and change in ranking. First, we control for the number of parliamentary committees to which each MP is assigned (COMMITTEES). This is arguably a rough proxy of activity because it does not capture the MP’s actual work rate in each of these committees. On the other hand, committee membership is normally associated with a number of activities (e.g. hearings, debate of legislative initiatives) that are highly valued by party elites. Our measure includes both standing and ad hoc committees. In every legislature, the median MP is involved in 3 committees with an interquartile range of 2. PARTY_POSITION takes the value of 1 when the MP holds or held in the past a position in the party executive committee or assembly either at the national or local level. Although the impact of party offices on reselection processes is expected to differ across Portuguese parties, members of these restricted committees should be more likely to be reselected and in higher list positions than other candidates (Gherghina and Chiru, 2010; Navarro, 2014). SENIORITY counts the number of legislative mandates accumulated by each MP in the past. Senior MPs stand out for their experience (Galasso and Nannicini, 2015) and their consolidated networks of support at the local level, thus increasing their chances of reselection. Finally, RETIREMENT is a dichotomous variable taking 1 when the MP is 64 or older at the end of the legislature (retirement age in Portugal was 65 at the end of the 12th legislature). We expect little incentive to engage in parliamentary activities for MPs that have attained the requisites for retirement and plan to step down at the end of the legislature.6 Finally, our models include control variables for: the party (reference category is the Left Bloc); the legislature (reference category is the 10th legislature); gender; and whether parties are in government or opposition (the lack of a direct channel to influence government decision-making makes opposition MPs more prone to using agenda-setting tools such as legislative initiative and parliamentary questions (Martin, 2011)). 5. Results 5.1 Reselection Given the binary nature of our dependent variable, ‘reselection’, we fitted a logistic regression model. Table 1 displays the results through five models. The ‘Base model’ tests the impact of our control variables. ‘All signatures’ and ‘first signatures’ introduce MP-specific data on quantities of bills and questions signed (the latter differs from the former because it only counts activity as first signatory). The last two models present the result of the interaction between our main activity indicators (PERG_1SIGN and BILL_1SIGN) with district magnitude (MAGNITUDE) and electoral vulnerability (VULNERABILITY), respectively. Table 1 Determinants of parliamentary reselection in Portugal Base model All signatures (H1) First signatures (H1) Interaction Vulnerability (H1a) Interaction Magnitude (H1b) INTERCEPT 0.54 (0.65) −1.60 (0.81)* −0.75 (0.78) −0.82 (0.78) −0.70 (0.58) COMMITTEES 0.22 (0.07)** 0.15 (0.08) 0.19 (0.07)** 0.22 (0.08)** 0.29 (0.08)*** PARTY_POSITION 0.44 (0.18)* 0.39 (0.19)* 0.43 (0.19)* 0.40 (0.19)* 0.47 (0.20)* SENIORITY 0.01 (0.05) 0.03 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.05 (0.05) RETIREMENT −0.71 (0.31)* −0.56 (0.32) −0.67 (0.30)* −0.71 (0.31)* −0.58 (0.30)* OPPOSITION −0.02 (0.19) −0.74 (0.25)** −0.28 (0.21) −0.26 (0.21) −0.44 (0.23) WOMAN_MP −0.20 (0.20) −0.21 (0.20) −0.14 (0.20) −0.15 (0.20) −0.12 (0.21) VULNERABILITY −0.33 (0.20) −0.32 (0.20) −0.33 (0.21) −0.07 (0.28) −0.15 (0.20) MAGNITUDE 0.11 (0.10) 0.15 (0.11) 0.16 (0.10) 0.17 (0.10) 0.00 (0.14) PERG_COSIGN 0.25 (0.09)** BILL_COSIGN 0.43 (0.12)*** PERG_1SIGN 0.22 (0.08)** 0.28 (0.15) −0.11 (0.28) BILL_1SIGN 0.21 (0.18) 0.82 (0.32)** −0.70 (0.61) PERG_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.04 (0.17) BILL_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.80 (0.33)* PERG_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.16 (0.10) BILL_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.39 (0.22) AIC 825.51 802.39 819.05 813.23 702.80 Num. obs. 672 672 672 672 544 Base model All signatures (H1) First signatures (H1) Interaction Vulnerability (H1a) Interaction Magnitude (H1b) INTERCEPT 0.54 (0.65) −1.60 (0.81)* −0.75 (0.78) −0.82 (0.78) −0.70 (0.58) COMMITTEES 0.22 (0.07)** 0.15 (0.08) 0.19 (0.07)** 0.22 (0.08)** 0.29 (0.08)*** PARTY_POSITION 0.44 (0.18)* 0.39 (0.19)* 0.43 (0.19)* 0.40 (0.19)* 0.47 (0.20)* SENIORITY 0.01 (0.05) 0.03 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.05 (0.05) RETIREMENT −0.71 (0.31)* −0.56 (0.32) −0.67 (0.30)* −0.71 (0.31)* −0.58 (0.30)* OPPOSITION −0.02 (0.19) −0.74 (0.25)** −0.28 (0.21) −0.26 (0.21) −0.44 (0.23) WOMAN_MP −0.20 (0.20) −0.21 (0.20) −0.14 (0.20) −0.15 (0.20) −0.12 (0.21) VULNERABILITY −0.33 (0.20) −0.32 (0.20) −0.33 (0.21) −0.07 (0.28) −0.15 (0.20) MAGNITUDE 0.11 (0.10) 0.15 (0.11) 0.16 (0.10) 0.17 (0.10) 0.00 (0.14) PERG_COSIGN 0.25 (0.09)** BILL_COSIGN 0.43 (0.12)*** PERG_1SIGN 0.22 (0.08)** 0.28 (0.15) −0.11 (0.28) BILL_1SIGN 0.21 (0.18) 0.82 (0.32)** −0.70 (0.61) PERG_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.04 (0.17) BILL_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.80 (0.33)* PERG_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.16 (0.10) BILL_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.39 (0.22) AIC 825.51 802.39 819.05 813.23 702.80 Num. obs. 672 672 672 672 544 Note: Logistic regression, DV is reselection of MP at the next election = 1, clustered standard errors (MPs), fixed effects of party and legislative term are not shown. ***p < 0.001, **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05. Table 1 Determinants of parliamentary reselection in Portugal Base model All signatures (H1) First signatures (H1) Interaction Vulnerability (H1a) Interaction Magnitude (H1b) INTERCEPT 0.54 (0.65) −1.60 (0.81)* −0.75 (0.78) −0.82 (0.78) −0.70 (0.58) COMMITTEES 0.22 (0.07)** 0.15 (0.08) 0.19 (0.07)** 0.22 (0.08)** 0.29 (0.08)*** PARTY_POSITION 0.44 (0.18)* 0.39 (0.19)* 0.43 (0.19)* 0.40 (0.19)* 0.47 (0.20)* SENIORITY 0.01 (0.05) 0.03 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.05 (0.05) RETIREMENT −0.71 (0.31)* −0.56 (0.32) −0.67 (0.30)* −0.71 (0.31)* −0.58 (0.30)* OPPOSITION −0.02 (0.19) −0.74 (0.25)** −0.28 (0.21) −0.26 (0.21) −0.44 (0.23) WOMAN_MP −0.20 (0.20) −0.21 (0.20) −0.14 (0.20) −0.15 (0.20) −0.12 (0.21) VULNERABILITY −0.33 (0.20) −0.32 (0.20) −0.33 (0.21) −0.07 (0.28) −0.15 (0.20) MAGNITUDE 0.11 (0.10) 0.15 (0.11) 0.16 (0.10) 0.17 (0.10) 0.00 (0.14) PERG_COSIGN 0.25 (0.09)** BILL_COSIGN 0.43 (0.12)*** PERG_1SIGN 0.22 (0.08)** 0.28 (0.15) −0.11 (0.28) BILL_1SIGN 0.21 (0.18) 0.82 (0.32)** −0.70 (0.61) PERG_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.04 (0.17) BILL_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.80 (0.33)* PERG_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.16 (0.10) BILL_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.39 (0.22) AIC 825.51 802.39 819.05 813.23 702.80 Num. obs. 672 672 672 672 544 Base model All signatures (H1) First signatures (H1) Interaction Vulnerability (H1a) Interaction Magnitude (H1b) INTERCEPT 0.54 (0.65) −1.60 (0.81)* −0.75 (0.78) −0.82 (0.78) −0.70 (0.58) COMMITTEES 0.22 (0.07)** 0.15 (0.08) 0.19 (0.07)** 0.22 (0.08)** 0.29 (0.08)*** PARTY_POSITION 0.44 (0.18)* 0.39 (0.19)* 0.43 (0.19)* 0.40 (0.19)* 0.47 (0.20)* SENIORITY 0.01 (0.05) 0.03 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.05 (0.05) RETIREMENT −0.71 (0.31)* −0.56 (0.32) −0.67 (0.30)* −0.71 (0.31)* −0.58 (0.30)* OPPOSITION −0.02 (0.19) −0.74 (0.25)** −0.28 (0.21) −0.26 (0.21) −0.44 (0.23) WOMAN_MP −0.20 (0.20) −0.21 (0.20) −0.14 (0.20) −0.15 (0.20) −0.12 (0.21) VULNERABILITY −0.33 (0.20) −0.32 (0.20) −0.33 (0.21) −0.07 (0.28) −0.15 (0.20) MAGNITUDE 0.11 (0.10) 0.15 (0.11) 0.16 (0.10) 0.17 (0.10) 0.00 (0.14) PERG_COSIGN 0.25 (0.09)** BILL_COSIGN 0.43 (0.12)*** PERG_1SIGN 0.22 (0.08)** 0.28 (0.15) −0.11 (0.28) BILL_1SIGN 0.21 (0.18) 0.82 (0.32)** −0.70 (0.61) PERG_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.04 (0.17) BILL_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.80 (0.33)* PERG_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.16 (0.10) BILL_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.39 (0.22) AIC 825.51 802.39 819.05 813.23 702.80 Num. obs. 672 672 672 672 544 Note: Logistic regression, DV is reselection of MP at the next election = 1, clustered standard errors (MPs), fixed effects of party and legislative term are not shown. ***p < 0.001, **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05. As far as our main explanatory factors are concerned, co-sponsoring of bills and questions are positively correlated to reselection. Co-sponsoring many bills, in particular, is significantly associated with a higher probability of reselection. On the other hand, when only first signatures are considered, the effect of the coefficient for bills weakens and ceases to be statistically significant. We interpret these findings as evidence that, on average, MPs who co-sign more bills and parliamentary questions are also the ones who tend to receive more invitations to do so. In other words, it is a proxy of the relevance of their involvement in party activities, a factor which should be associated with reselection. On the other hand, we can conjecture that being the main sponsor of many bills does not affect the chances of reselection because the party selectorate values quality over quantity for policy proposals.7 Among the other explanatory factors of reselection, ‘COMMITTEES’ displays a significant and positive coefficient. Using ‘all signatures’ as a reference model, one additional committee membership increases the odds of reselection by a factor of 20 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval (CI) between 5 per cent and 38 per cent). As expected, the odds for MPs who hold or held in the past some type of party office (at national or local level, PARTY_POSITION) are 56 per cent higher than the odds of rank and file MPs (95 per cent CI between 9 per cent and 1.25 per cent). Finally, we find that the prospect of RETIREMENT negatively affects the chances of reselection: the odds decrease by a factor of 50 per cent (95 CI between 7 per cent and 73 per cent). H1a states that the effect of legislative productivity on candidate reselection should be stronger for vulnerable MPs. Our results tell a different story. Both interaction coefficients of electoral vulnerability with BILL_1SIGN and PQ_1SIGN respectively are negative and their statistical significance is weak or null. Figure 3A plots the coefficients of BILL_1SIGN (along the y-axis) conditional on electoral vulnerability (along the x-axis). It shows that with increasing vulnerability, the magnitude of the coefficients decreases and becomes negative for MPs entering parliament as substitutes (vulnerability greater than 1).8 This finding suggests that other criteria for reselection are germane when MPs are at the bottom of the party list. Our interviews confirm that parliamentary productivity is just one of the criteria used by elites to make decisions on reselection. Other criteria, such as the renewal of representatives, their territorial representation and links to the constituencies, or their expertise and competence are also equally important to determine the final composition of party lists. Moreover, the internal distribution of power—that is the power of negotiation of local party structures vis-à-vis national party bodies—and the discretionary authority of party leadership are additional key factors for MPs’ reselection. Figure 3 View largeDownload slide (A and B) Estimated coefficients for legislative activity (bills as first signatory) on reselection by electoral vulnerability and district magnitude. Note: The solid lines plot the conditional coefficients of legislative activity, based on the results from model ‘First signatures’ in Table 1. The shaded area represents 95 per cent confidence intervals. Figure 3 View largeDownload slide (A and B) Estimated coefficients for legislative activity (bills as first signatory) on reselection by electoral vulnerability and district magnitude. Note: The solid lines plot the conditional coefficients of legislative activity, based on the results from model ‘First signatures’ in Table 1. The shaded area represents 95 per cent confidence intervals. To inspect H1b—positing that the larger the district magnitude, the stronger the impact of legislative productivity on candidate reselection—we decided to limit our subset to the two largest parties, PS and PDS, which are the only parties to elect representatives in all districts. The interaction between (the logarithm of) magnitude and our two main activity covariates (BILL_1SIGN and PQ_1SIGN) is positive but, once again, it is not statistically significant at 0.05 per cent. Figure 3B shows that only an increase of activities of MPs competing in large districts (Lisbon and Porto) has a positive impact on their probability of reselection that is significant at the conventional level, which confirms our expectation. While these findings corroborate previous studies on the significant impact of district magnitude (Teixeira, 2009; Brack et al., 2012; Pilet et al., 2012), we can conjecture that other factors are important in smaller districts such as the ties between the MP and local actors. 5.2 Change in list position Our second goal is to test whether parliamentary activity is associated with a change in list position at the next election. Since we are dealing with a three-category dependent variable—vulnerability can stay the SAME, INCREASE or DECREASE—we chose to run a multinomial regression model. The reference level is SAME. Table 2 reports the results replicating the first 3 models presented in Table 1. Table 2 Determinants of change in list position of reselected MPs Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Decrease Increase Decrease Increase Decrease Increase INTERCEPT −4.72 (1.07)*** −5.22 (1.22)*** −4.57 (1.28)*** −5.37 (1.44)*** −4.48 (1.22)*** −5.43 (1.37)*** COMMITTEES 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.06 (0.11) PARTY_POSITION −0.08 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.14 (0.31) SENIORITY 0.14 (0.08) −0.08 (0.09) 0.14 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) 0.13 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) RETIREMENT −0.69 (0.68) 0.44 (0.65) −0.68 (0.68) 0.46 (0.65) −0.70 (0.68) 0.43 (0.65) OPPOSITION −0.53 (0.40) 0.46 (0.39) −0.49 (0.48) 0.31 (0.49) −0.41 (0.43) 0.37 (0.42) WOMAN_MP −0.65 (0.32)* −0.21 (0.33) −0.65 (0.32)* −0.20 (0.34) −0.67 (0.32)* −0.18 (0.33) VULNERABILITY 1.99 (0.38)*** 0.04 (0.47) 1.98 (0.39)*** −0.05 (0.48) 2.01 (0.38)*** −0.02 (0.48) MAGNITUDE 0.89 (0.18)*** 1.14 (0.21)*** 0.88 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** 0.86 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** PERG_COSIGN −0.01 (0.15) 0.15 (0.17) BILL_COSIGN −0.02 (0.19) −0.06 (0.19) PERG_1SIGN −0.13 (0.14) 0.10 (0.15) BILL_1SIGN 0.09 (0.23) −0.06 (0.23) AIC 759.43 766.32 764.77 Num. obs. 432 432 432 Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Decrease Increase Decrease Increase Decrease Increase INTERCEPT −4.72 (1.07)*** −5.22 (1.22)*** −4.57 (1.28)*** −5.37 (1.44)*** −4.48 (1.22)*** −5.43 (1.37)*** COMMITTEES 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.06 (0.11) PARTY_POSITION −0.08 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.14 (0.31) SENIORITY 0.14 (0.08) −0.08 (0.09) 0.14 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) 0.13 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) RETIREMENT −0.69 (0.68) 0.44 (0.65) −0.68 (0.68) 0.46 (0.65) −0.70 (0.68) 0.43 (0.65) OPPOSITION −0.53 (0.40) 0.46 (0.39) −0.49 (0.48) 0.31 (0.49) −0.41 (0.43) 0.37 (0.42) WOMAN_MP −0.65 (0.32)* −0.21 (0.33) −0.65 (0.32)* −0.20 (0.34) −0.67 (0.32)* −0.18 (0.33) VULNERABILITY 1.99 (0.38)*** 0.04 (0.47) 1.98 (0.39)*** −0.05 (0.48) 2.01 (0.38)*** −0.02 (0.48) MAGNITUDE 0.89 (0.18)*** 1.14 (0.21)*** 0.88 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** 0.86 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** PERG_COSIGN −0.01 (0.15) 0.15 (0.17) BILL_COSIGN −0.02 (0.19) −0.06 (0.19) PERG_1SIGN −0.13 (0.14) 0.10 (0.15) BILL_1SIGN 0.09 (0.23) −0.06 (0.23) AIC 759.43 766.32 764.77 Num. obs. 432 432 432 Note: Multinomial logit regression, DV is change in list position at the next election, reference category is SAME, effects of party and legislative term are not shown. ***p < 0.001, **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05. Table 2 Determinants of change in list position of reselected MPs Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Decrease Increase Decrease Increase Decrease Increase INTERCEPT −4.72 (1.07)*** −5.22 (1.22)*** −4.57 (1.28)*** −5.37 (1.44)*** −4.48 (1.22)*** −5.43 (1.37)*** COMMITTEES 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.06 (0.11) PARTY_POSITION −0.08 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.14 (0.31) SENIORITY 0.14 (0.08) −0.08 (0.09) 0.14 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) 0.13 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) RETIREMENT −0.69 (0.68) 0.44 (0.65) −0.68 (0.68) 0.46 (0.65) −0.70 (0.68) 0.43 (0.65) OPPOSITION −0.53 (0.40) 0.46 (0.39) −0.49 (0.48) 0.31 (0.49) −0.41 (0.43) 0.37 (0.42) WOMAN_MP −0.65 (0.32)* −0.21 (0.33) −0.65 (0.32)* −0.20 (0.34) −0.67 (0.32)* −0.18 (0.33) VULNERABILITY 1.99 (0.38)*** 0.04 (0.47) 1.98 (0.39)*** −0.05 (0.48) 2.01 (0.38)*** −0.02 (0.48) MAGNITUDE 0.89 (0.18)*** 1.14 (0.21)*** 0.88 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** 0.86 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** PERG_COSIGN −0.01 (0.15) 0.15 (0.17) BILL_COSIGN −0.02 (0.19) −0.06 (0.19) PERG_1SIGN −0.13 (0.14) 0.10 (0.15) BILL_1SIGN 0.09 (0.23) −0.06 (0.23) AIC 759.43 766.32 764.77 Num. obs. 432 432 432 Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Decrease Increase Decrease Increase Decrease Increase INTERCEPT −4.72 (1.07)*** −5.22 (1.22)*** −4.57 (1.28)*** −5.37 (1.44)*** −4.48 (1.22)*** −5.43 (1.37)*** COMMITTEES 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.06 (0.11) PARTY_POSITION −0.08 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.14 (0.31) SENIORITY 0.14 (0.08) −0.08 (0.09) 0.14 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) 0.13 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) RETIREMENT −0.69 (0.68) 0.44 (0.65) −0.68 (0.68) 0.46 (0.65) −0.70 (0.68) 0.43 (0.65) OPPOSITION −0.53 (0.40) 0.46 (0.39) −0.49 (0.48) 0.31 (0.49) −0.41 (0.43) 0.37 (0.42) WOMAN_MP −0.65 (0.32)* −0.21 (0.33) −0.65 (0.32)* −0.20 (0.34) −0.67 (0.32)* −0.18 (0.33) VULNERABILITY 1.99 (0.38)*** 0.04 (0.47) 1.98 (0.39)*** −0.05 (0.48) 2.01 (0.38)*** −0.02 (0.48) MAGNITUDE 0.89 (0.18)*** 1.14 (0.21)*** 0.88 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** 0.86 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** PERG_COSIGN −0.01 (0.15) 0.15 (0.17) BILL_COSIGN −0.02 (0.19) −0.06 (0.19) PERG_1SIGN −0.13 (0.14) 0.10 (0.15) BILL_1SIGN 0.09 (0.23) −0.06 (0.23) AIC 759.43 766.32 764.77 Num. obs. 432 432 432 Note: Multinomial logit regression, DV is change in list position at the next election, reference category is SAME, effects of party and legislative term are not shown. ***p < 0.001, **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05. Our models reveal that most of the covariates accounting for reselection do not help explain variation in electoral vulnerability. In particular, none of the coefficients of our activity-related predictors is statistically significant. Keeping all other variables constant, we find that the worse the MPs’ rankings are in the electoral list, the greater the odds of being reselected with a lower ranking at the next election as opposed to maintaining the old position. This might result from the inclusion of new higher-positioned candidates in the party list at each election, which pushes already vulnerable candidates further down in terms of ranking. Second, as expected, the larger the district—and the longer the electoral list—the stronger the chances of list mobility at the next election. Finally, the odds of demotion in the electoral list are lower for women MPs than for men.9 It is also interesting to note that productivity is not associated with a change in list position. This means that MPs holding a safe seat do not display less (or more) productivity than deputies in vulnerable positions. We tried different model specifications (see online Appendix). First, we transformed our categorical dependent variable into a continuous one by taking the difference between the two vulnerability scores and ran a standard linear regression. The new dependent variable is centred at 0, corresponding to no change in the vulnerability score. Vulnerability can increase up to −12 and decrease up to 2. Second, we eliminated all heads of the list, since by definition their vulnerability cannot decrease (unless they change district). Finally, we ran our models using observations only on members of the largest parties, PS and PSD, which jointly account for 75 per cent (n = 325) of observations. The three model specifications yield remarkably consistent results. 6. Conclusion The process of candidate reselection is of great interest to scholars studying parliamentary elites and, in particular, how political parties affect their careers. This study investigates the factors influencing the reselection of legislators in the Portuguese parliament. Drawing on the extant literature on candidate reselection, we formulate and test whether individual parliamentary output has any significant consequence for the probability of reselection and the position on the party list at the next election. Our results demonstrate that productivity is strongly related to the chances of being reselected (with the exception of initiating a bill as first signatory). The findings thus confirm the importance of MPs' performance. This association comes with two caveats. First, contrary to our expectations, electorally vulnerable MPs that are also hard-working do not have a greater chance of being reselected. What emerges from the interviews we conducted is that quality (e.g. the choice of highly politically salient topics which attract a lot of media coverage) may trump quantity for representatives that want to make a name for themselves inside the party. Secondly, as expected, we found that it is mainly in large districts that dynamic MPs have a stronger likelihood of reselection. In smaller districts, intra-party competition is low and other criteria, such as the relationship with voters and local interests, are more important. Moreover, these MPs have more incentives to work on local rather than on national issues, curtailing the range of available topics to act upon. As far as our alternative explanatory factors are concerned, we find that the number of committee memberships and holding party offices at either national or local level, respectively, are positively and significantly associated with reselection. Both results confirm the importance of party directorates, in particular the party in central office, in controlling political recruitment and selecting the profile of national representatives. On the one hand, appointment to more than one standing committee or to specific ad hoc committees can be read as a sign of trust on the part of party elites. On the other, we interpret the relevance of holding office as a demonstration that the ‘ideal’ candidate, from the point of view of party organisations, is one who has had previous party work experience, and has proved to be disciplined and useful to party organisations. As highlighted also in our interviews, the main criteria used to select candidates in Portugal are partisan and reselection crucially depends on the position MPs have within party directorates. As regards our second dependent variable, our data suggest that legislators’ activities, as well as our alternative explanatory factors, are not statistically associated with a change in the list position of prospective MPs. Various reasons can explain this finding. First, factional disputes related to securing a public office are a key aspect in the intra-party functioning of Portuguese parties. For instance, newly elected leaders traditionally reinforce their basis of support through candidate selection by marginalising opponents of minority factions. Second, informal rules of candidate selection aim to combine leadership autonomy and the interests of local party branches, thus making political recruitment more complex and uncertain. Informal rules are also important in determining specific criteria that orientate the choice of candidates with a specific profile (e.g. age, profession, political background, etc.). As a third point, it is worth mentioning the importance of specific organisational cultures that may influence the position of candidates on the party list (e.g. the ‘rotation’ principle adopted by the BE or the importance of some regional branches in the main parties). In particular, the null effect of seniority can also be attributed to the fact that a considerable proportion of MPs may simply decide, for a variety of reasons, not to run for re-election. Two issues should be kept in mind when interpreting the results of this study. First, a number of factors (personal networks, reputation, voter-MPs contacts, etc.) may play an important role for candidate reselection but could not be measured here. As our results show, the model may be underspecified, which means that future studies should try to collect more data and differently specify our predictors. Second, examining the post-parliamentary careers of MPs who were not reselected may shed more light on the process of candidate selection, in particular with regard to party factionalism or the internal balance of power between central and local party organisations. It is possible that MPs with a political background at the local level find it more interesting to undertake a career at this level rather than continuing being involved in national politics. Following the trajectories of legislators before and after parliamentary experience warrants more scrutiny in future research. Footnotes 1 Furthermore, Portugal stands out from other Southern European countries hit by the economic crisis, for example Italy, for the remarkable stability of its party system, which allows us to hold systemic or contextual characteristics as a constant in our research design. 2 Law 14/1979, Art. 18. 3 The second Sócrates government was voted down after only two years, leading to snap elections in May 2011. 4 To account for the fact that PSD and CDS-PP ran with a coalition list in the 2015 election, we summed their seats when calculating their MPs’ vulnerability in 2015. 5 The same question can be replicated when it is addressed to more than one minister or when it refers to more than one council. These duplicate questions were dropped. 6 We also tested whether experience in government or in the European Parliament (due to the associated visibility which comes with these offices) and MP’s specialisation on specific issue areas are influential for reselection. Their impact was not statistically significant and they were dropped from the model (see online Appendix). 7 The Communist MPs (PCP) were dropped from this model because they were all reselected. 8 Findings do not change when we use parliamentary questions instead of bills. Conditional coefficients remain positive and stable (H1a expect them to increase) as vulnerability increases, but cease to be statistically significant for high levels of vulnerability (see online Appendix). 9 This effect may be linked to the party law introduced in 2007 (see Baum and Espírito-Santo, 2012). Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and Vera Ramalhete for her research assistance. This study was financially supported by the Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT) through a grant within the framework of the project ‘Crisis, Political Representation and Democratic Renewal: The Portuguese case in the Southern European context’ (PTDC/IVC-CPO/3098/2014), through the Research Grant SFRH/BPD/89968/2012 and through the FCT Investigator Contract IF/00382/2014. References André A. , Depauw S. , Martin S. ( 2015 ) ‘ Electoral Systems and Legislators’ Constituency Effort. The Mediating Effect of Electoral Vulnerability’, Comparative Political Studies , 48 , 464 – 496 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Baum M. , Espírito-Santo , ( 2012 ) A. ‘Portugal’s Quota-Parity Law: An Analysis of Its Adoption’, West European Politics , 35 , 319 – 342 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Best H. , Cotta M. ( 2000 ) Parliamentary Representatives in Europe 1848-2000: Legislative Recruitment and Careers in Eleven European Countries , Oxford , Oxford University Press . Blidook K. , Kerby M. ( 2011 ) ‘ Constituency Influence on “constituency members”: The Adaptability of Roles to Electoral Realities in the Canadian Case’, Journal of Legislative Studies , 17 , 327 – 339 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Bowler S. ( 2010 ) ‘ Private Members’ Bills in the UK Parliament: Is There an ‘Electoral Connection’?’, The Journal of Legislative Studies , 16 , 476 – 494 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Brack N. , Costa O. , Teixeira C. P. ( 2012 ) ‘ Attitudes Towards the Focus and Style of Representation among Belgian, French and Portuguese Parliamentarians.’ Representation , 48 , 387 – 402 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Burden B. C. ( 2004 ) ‘ Candidate positioning in US congressional elections ’, British Journal of Political Science , 34 , 211 – 227 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Detterbeck K. ( 2016 ) ‘ Candidate Selection in Germany: Local and Regional Party Elites Still in Control?’, American Behavioral Scientist , 60 , 837 – 852 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Fernandes J. M. , Leston-Bandeira C. , Schwemmer C. ( 2017 ) ‘ Election Proximity and Representation Focus in Party-Constrained Environments ’, Party Politics , doi:10.1177/1354068817689955. Freire A. (ed.) ( 2001 ) Recrutamento Parlamentar: Os Deputados Portugueses Da Constituinte À VIII Legislatura , Lisbon , STAPE . Freire A. , Teixeira C. P. ( 2011 ) ‘A Escolha Antes Da Escolha: A Seleção Dos Candidatos a Deputados - Parte II: Teoria e Prática’ , Revista de Ciências Sociais e Políticas , 2 , 31 – 48 . Freire A. , Seiceira F. , Viegas J. M. Leite ( 2009 ) Representação política em Portugal: Inquéritos e bases de dados , Lisbon , Sextante . Freire A. , Lisi M. , Viegas J. M. Leite (eds) ( 2015 ) ‘Biografias dos Deputados Portugueses 2011-2012 (Eleições 2011) – Bases de Dados’. In Projecto Eleições, Liderança e Responsabilização, accessed at http://er.cies.iscte-iul.pt/. Galasso V. , Nannicini T. ( 2015 ) ‘ So Closed: Political Selection in Proportional Systems’, European Journal of Political Economy , 40 , 260 – 273 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Gallagher M. , Marsh D. ( 1988 ) Candidate Selection in Comparative Perspective , London , SAGE . Gherghina S. , Chiru M. ( 2010 ) ‘Practice and Payment: Determinants of Candidate List Position in European Parliament Elections’ , European Union Politics , 11 , 533 – 552 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Griffin J. D. ( 2006 ) ‘Electoral Competition and Democratic Responsiveness: A Defense of the Marginality Hypothesis’ , Journal of Politics , 68 , 911 – 921 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Hermansen S. , Lyder S. ( 2016 ) ‘Striving for Influence: The Effect of Performance on Candidate Selection’ , Party Politics doi: 10.1177/1354068816663036. Katz R. S. ( 1980 ) A Theory of Parties and Electoral Systems , Baltimore , The John Hopkins University Press . Katz R. S. ( 2001 ) ‘The Problem of Candidate Selection and Models of Party Democracy’ , Party Politics , 7 , 277 – 296 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Kellermann M. ( 2016 ) ‘ Electoral Vulnerability, Constituency Focus, and Parliamentary Questions in the House of Commons’ , The British Journal of Politics & International Relations , 18 , 90 – 106 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Krouwel A. ( 2012 ) Party Transformations in European Democracies , New York , SUNY Press . Lazardeux S. ( 2005 ) ‘“Une Question Ecrite, Pour Quoi Faire?” The Causes of the Production of Written Questions in the French Assemblée Nationale’ , French Politics , 3 , 258 – 281 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Lobo M. C. ( 2003 ) ‘A Elite Partidária Em Portugal, 1976–2002’ , In Pinto A. C. , Freire A. (eds) Elites, Sociedade e Mudança Política , Lisbon, Celta , pp. 249 – 275 . Louwerse T. , Otjes S. ( 2016 ) ‘Personalised Parliamentary Behaviour without Electoral Incentives: The Case of the Netherlands’ , West European Politics , 39 , 778 – 799 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Lundell K. ( 2004 ) ‘ Determinants of Candidate Selection’, Party Politics , 10 , 25 – 47 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Manin B. ( 1997 ) The Principles of Representative Government , Cambridge , Cambridge University Press . Marangoni F. , Russo F. ( 2016 ) Why Party Selectorate Decide to Re-Select Incumbents: The Conditional Role of Legislative Productivity, IPSA, 24 World Congress of Political Science. Poznan. Martin S. ( 2011 ) ‘Parliamentary Questions, the Behaviour of Legislators, and the Function of Legislatures: An Introduction’ , Journal of Legislative Studies , 17 , 259 – 270 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Mayhew D. R. ( 1974 ) Congress: The Electoral Connection , New Haven , Yale University Press . Montabes J. , Ortega C. ( 1999 ) Candidate Selection in Two Rigid List System, ECPR joint sessions, Mannheim (26-31 March). Müller W. , Strøm K. eds. ( 1999 ) Policy, Office, or Votes ?, Cambridge , Cambridge University Press . Navarro J. ( 2014 ) Democratic Accountability and Candidate Selection in European Elections: Do Parties Reward or Sanction Incumbent MEPs for their Retrospective Performance?, unpublished manuscript. Norris P. (ed.) ( 1997 ) Passages to Power , Cambridge , Cambridge University Press . Pilet J. -B. , Freire A. , Costa O. ( 2012 ) ‘ Ballot Structure, District Magnitude and Constituency-Orientation of MPs in Proportional Representation and Majority Electoral Systems’ , Representation , 48 , 359 – 372 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Rasch B. E. ( 2009 ) ‘Opposition parties, electoral incentives and the control of government ministers: Parliamentary questioning in Norway’ . In Ganghof S. , Hoönnige C. , Stecker C. (eds) Parlamente, Agendasetzung und Vetospieler: Festschrift für Herbert Döring , Wiesbaden, VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften , pp. 199 – 214 . Riera P. ( 2011 ) ‘Closed Party List’. In Colomer J. (ed.) Personal Representation. The Neglected Dimension of Electoral Systems , Colchester , ECPR Press , pp. 55 – 80 . Russo F. ( 2011 ) ‘The Constituency as a Focus of Representation: Studying the Italian Case through the Analysis of Parliamentary Questions’ , Journal of Legislative Studies , 17 , 290 – 301 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Seguro A. J. ( 2016 ) A Reforma Do Parlamento Português , Lisbon , Quetzal editores . Shomer Y. ( 2012 ) ‘ What Affects Candidate Selection Processes? A Cross-National Examination’ , Party Politics , 20 , 533 – 546 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Soroka S. , Penner E. , Blidook K. ( 2009 ) ‘ Constituency influence in Parliament’ , Canadian Journal of Political Science , 42 , 563 – 591 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS Teixeira C. Pequito ( 2009 ) O Povo Semi-Soberano. Partidos Políticos e Recrutamento Parlamentar , Coimbra , Almedina . Teixeira C. Pequito , Freire A. , Belchior A. M. ( 2012 ) ‘ Parliamentary Representation in Portugal: Deputies’ Focus and Style of Representation’, Portuguese Journal of Social Sciences , 11 , 99 – 117 . Google Scholar Crossref Search ADS © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Hansard Society; all rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/open_access/funder_policies/chorus/standard_publication_model) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Parliamentary Affairs Oxford University Press

Productivity and Reselection in a Party-based Environment: Evidence from the Portuguese Case

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Abstract

Abstract Portugal is a crucial case when studying candidate reselection in a party-dominated setting. While we expect the productivity of Members of Parliament (MP) to be strongly associated with reselection, it should not affect the position of reselected representatives on the party list. These expectations are tested using data on MPs' parliamentary activities across eight years (from 2007 to 2015), while controlling for alternative hypotheses. Although the two main hypotheses are confirmed, we found that both electoral vulnerability and district magnitude condition the effect of MPs’ productivity on reselection. Overall, the results are in line with the literature on reselection and suggest that other factors, such as party loyalty, may be germane to the understanding of the reselection process in Portugal. 1. Introduction A well-established research tradition within party politics suggests that the process of candidate selection is guided by factors such as the electoral system, the type of territorial organisation, the specificities of the region and candidates’ motivations (Gallagher and Marsh, 1988; Lundell, 2004; Shomer, 2012). However, we still know very little about the causes of reselection, that is when incumbent legislators are reconfirmed as candidates in the next elections. The simple but significant issue addressed in this study is whether MPs in a closed-list PR system are reselected as a consequence of their parliamentary work. Second, we ask whether a hard-working MP is likely to be ranked higher on the list when reselected. The study of reselection is of vital theoretical importance for our understanding of representative democracies. First, reselection is a key tool for effective accountability because it allows voters to take incumbents’ performance into account and to reward (or punish) MPs (Manin, 1997; Navarro, 2014). Second, the study of reselection may elucidate patterns of political recruitment, that is the criteria that allow potential candidates to enter into Parliament, their profile and their behaviour (Norris, 1997; Best and Cotta, 2000). At the same time, it is also an important phenomenon because it helps understand an essential aspect of intra-party politics and one of the main conflictual issues among party elites (Katz, 2001). Finally, reselection is linked to MPs–voter relations, in particular how legislators perceive their mandates, for example their focus and style of representation—and whether some MPs are more likely to engage in constituency service than others. Candidate selection has been traditionally considered ‘the secret garden of politics’ given the control that party elites exert over this process and the lack of transparency that characterises the choice of prospective MPs. Party statutes do not say much on the issue and in most countries, with the notable exception of Germany (see Detterbeck, 2016), there is no legal regulation of this important internal party process. Some party directorates may elaborate general guidelines that orientate the choice of candidates, especially in terms of social and political background, for example gender, age, membership in civic organisations or social movements, etc. However, we know very little about informal processes. The main research question of this study is whether a legislator’s parliamentary output influences the chances of being reselected and his/her ballot position at the next election. It contributes to the comparative literature by testing this relationship in the case of Portugal, where the electoral incentives for personalised activity are minimal.1 Since becoming a democracy, Portugal has adopted a closed-list PR system in which candidate selection is centralised in the hands of the party selectorate. This means that the Portuguese case can be considered as a least likely setting to find a connection between MPs’ individual activities focusing on the constituency and re-election pressures. On the other hand, while we know MPs’ activities vary greatly, it is unclear why some representatives are more productive than others. We expect MPs to use parliamentary activities, among other functions, as a reputation-enhancing tool to increase their chances of being perceived as an asset for the party and thus of being reselected. In fact, other determinants may be more important to the positioning on the selection list. For instance, party officers of former MPs who display loyalty to the leadership (i.e. voting along party lines) are expected to be important criteria for reselection. Testing these hypotheses helps shed new light on the representative functions of MPs and the role of political parties in political recruitment. The next section outlines the theoretical framework by discussing the literature on MPs’ reselection. We then describe the main features of the institutional and political background in the Portuguese case. This is followed by a presentation of the data, variable operationalisation and estimation procedure in Section 4. After presenting and discussing the results, we summarise the findings and examine their implications. 2. Explaining reselection: theoretical arguments and hypotheses There is broad agreement in legislative studies that MPs primarily seek reselection (Mayhew, 1974; Müller and Strøm, 1999). Although legislators may have other ambitions, such as influencing public policies or being appointed to a government position, reelection is often considered to be their overarching goal. Yet when party organisations dominate the electoral and legislative arena, leaving no space for independents or party switchers, the decision on reselection lies first and foremost with the party's central office (Riera, 2011). In a party-centred setting, the process of candidate selection is thus central to understand how parties aim to improve their performance and coordinate the activities and functions of representatives. While a vast amount of studies describe how candidates are selected, little attention has been paid to the factors that may explain why some MPs are reselected but others are not. In an attempt to fill this lacuna, this study draws on an original dataset to investigate the causes of reselection. What are the drivers of MPs' reselection? Several determinants are highlighted in the literature and can be divided into two main groups. The first is related to the individual profile of representatives and concerns their qualities and behaviour as agents of voters and/or parties. The second is associated with party-related features and therefore belongs to the meso-level of the party system and takes the role of MPs at the aggregate level. Our key variable is MPs' performance in the parliamentary arena. Representatives’ activities usually imply speeches, the elaboration of legislative proposals, the drafting of motions and questions, as well as constituency and committee work. Some authors have noticed that parliamentary activity provides MPs with higher levels of visibility because the mass media coverage of legislators’ activities and new digital communication tools available to them boost their image in the public opinion (Lazardeux, 2005; Bowler, 2010, p. 481; Martin, 2011). But parliamentary productivity is also a matter of credibility, which may strengthen the ties between MPs, voters and political parties. While the determinants of re-election have been extensively investigated in the literature, studies focusing on the relationship between legislative performance and reselection are scarce. In the Italian case, Marangoni and Russo (2016) found the impact is mediated by the personal connection between the legislator and his/her constituency. On the other hand, a study on European elections found that drafting reports increases the probability of the MEP being placed in a high (i.e. safe) position on the list for re-election (Hermansen and Lyder, 2016). This finding is also confirmed by Navarro (2014), who found MEPs’ productivity had a small but significant impact on the likelihood of reselection. Taking into account these findings, our overall hypothesis is that the higher the parliamentary output of the legislator, the higher the chances of being reselected (H1). The impact of MP productivity is likely to be conditional on the incentives generated by electoral pressures. A number of studies found that electoral vulnerability, the perceived (by MPs) probability of being ousted from office at the next election, significantly affects the productivity of legislators (Navarro, 2014; Kellermann 2016). The rationale behind this hypothesis suggests that MPs who are more vulnerable are likely to exert more effort in their parliamentary work to secure their office. Vulnerable MPs may use their parliamentary performance not only to signal their efficiency to the party leadership, but also as a tool to cultivate a personal vote. Overall, electoral vulnerability is expected to boost MPs parliamentary activities with the aim of increasing their reputation and visibility. There is mixed evidence on the importance of electoral vulnerability. While it seems to play an important role in the USA (Burden, 2004; Griffin, 2006), the studies on European countries do not find consistent effects (see Lazardeux, 2005; Rasch, 2009; Soroka et al., 2009; Kellermann, 2016; Louwerse and Otjes, 2016). Recent comparative research confirms the impact of vulnerability on constituency efforts (André et al., 2015). However, when we limit the analysis to parliamentary questions, the evidence is again contradictory (Martin, 2011; Blidook and Kerby, 2011; Russo, 2011). A recent study on the Portuguese parliament confirms that ‘vulnerable’ MPs have a greater tendency to submit parliamentary questions (Fernandes et al., 2017). We therefore expect vulnerability to interact positively with productivity by increasing the chances of MPs’ reselection, all else being equal (H1a). The link between parliamentary performance and reselection may also be mediated by the electoral system. As Norris noted in her ground-breaking study (1997), the structure of opportunities, and the electoral system in particular, interacts with the demand side, namely the (formal or informal) criteria used by gatekeepers. District magnitude is a crucial feature of the electoral system. In districts with a small magnitude, party competitiveness is usually higher and minor parties are less likely to elect representatives. In this context, deputies may rely on their close links to voters, they usually control important resources to connect with the electorate and it is easier for the selectorate to have key information on the candidates most deserving of reselection. Therefore, we hypothesise that MPs productivity will be more important for candidate reselection in districts with higher magnitude than in districts with a small magnitude (district magnitude, H1.b). Some deputies are rewarded by the party selectorate through an appointment to a safer position, whereas others are punished by lowering their positions on the list. While there are a number of studies on intra-party competition under preferential vote systems or when candidates are selected through primaries, the criteria that guide the elaboration of party lists is an unexplored aspect of political recruitment (but see Katz, 1980). When the process of candidate selection is centralised, party directorates are kingmakers as they control who will go up or down on the party list. Consequently, incumbency and party position, that is whether the candidate holds a party office, are two factors that may provide a plausible explanation for the composition of party lists. Additionally, parliamentary performance may also influence party list allocation, in particular whether or not a prospective MP is placed in the same position on the list following selection. To the best of our knowledge, there are no studies testing the impact of MPs’ performance on the composition of the list of candidates. Drawing on Portuguese and Spanish cases, Montabes and Ortega (1999) found that moving up the party list is not governed by principles of seniority. Candidates placed in the lowest ranks of the party list do not automatically move up to winning positions. In other words, first-time candidates may go straight to the top of the party list, whereas MPs in lower positions do not necessarily become electable. In their study on Italy, a closed list PR system, Galasso and Nannicini (2015) showed that loyalists, i.e. former MPs or those occupying a party position, are usually allocated to safe positions, while experts, or ‘independents’, are placed in unsecure positions. Hence, our second hypothesis is that loyalist MPs are more likely to gain safe seats, regardless of their performance in the Parliament (H2). 3. The Portuguese case Portugal is a suitable case for examining reselection in a party-based environment, namely a setting where legislators’ careers are heavily constrained by party organisations. First, it has been noted that MPs’ constituency orientation focuses mainly on the national rather than the local level and representatives do not spend much time on constituency activities (Teixeira, 2009; Teixeira et al., 2012). Secondly, Portugal has a proportional representation system with 22 multi-member constituencies and closed lists. As shown by previous studies (Shomer 2012), this feature has a crucial influence on the candidate selection process and it strengthens party discipline. Voters do not have a say in the selection of their preferred representative, and candidates’ names do not appear on the ballot list. Thus, party organisations are key gatekeepers in the selection of parliamentarians and in holding them accountable. This control is strengthened by Parliament’s rules, which grant numerous privileges and competences to party directorates and parliamentary groups (PG). For instance, the distribution of resources (e.g. debate time), the setting of the parliamentary agenda and the election of decision-making bodies is managed at the PG-level. In addition, procedural rules and institutional constraints help raise the level of cohesion in Portuguese parties. The overall impression among Portuguese voters is that MPs lack effective and solid links to their constituencies. However, MPs’ attitudes vary significantly according to district magnitude (Teixeira et al., 2012). In small districts, notably in the non-coastal area, representatives display stronger ties to their constituencies than MPs in larger districts. Therefore, the variation in district magnitude is an important characteristic that may interact with MPs’ performance. A number of studies have drawn attention to the high level of centralisation in the candidate selection process in Portugal (Freire, 2001; Lobo, 2003; Teixeira, 2009; Freire and Teixeira, 2011). In particular, the party in central office is responsible for the choice of prospective MPs, and the party leaders often have the final say on the party list to be submitted to voters. Nonetheless, some differences between parties should be noted. While radical left parties, particularly the PCP (Portuguese Communist Party), emphasise the involvement of party cadres and value the work of activists, the two mainstream parties (Socialist Party, PS, and Social Democratic Party, PSD) tend to be more open and inclusive, and they also show a relatively higher level of decentralisation. Although the Constitution establishes that MPs' mandates are based on national representation rather than territorial criteria, parties are the main de facto gatekeepers for achieving political representation. In a recent comparative work, Krouwel (2012, p. 252) considers Portugal to be in the group of countries (along with Greece, Italy and the Netherlands) characterised by a process of ‘candidate selection substantially in the hands of the elite’. 4. Data and methods To test our hypotheses, we draw on data about written questions and legislative bills tabled by Portuguese MPs over three legislatures: 10th (2005–2009), 11th (2009–2011) and 12th (2011–2015). A major revision of Portuguese standing orders in 2007 restructured (among other things) the instrument of parliamentary questions and the organisation of parliamentary committees (Seguro, 2016); we therefore consider only the last two post-reform years (2007–2009) of the 10th legislature. Data were retrieved from the official website of the Assembleia da República (www.parlamento.pt) for all 901 MPs who spent at least one day in parliament. Data on MPs’ biographies were collected for the X and XI legislatures by Freire et al. (2009) and for the XII legislature by Freire et al. (2015). Gaps in these databases were filled by the authors. We also conducted eight face-to-face interviews with representatives from all parliamentary parties, asking questions about MPs’ activities and the process of candidate selection. The interviews took place in January and February 2017. Our unit of analysis is the individual MPs. It is not rare for MPs to be substituted during their mandate either temporarily (because of extended leave) or permanently. By law, these vacancies are to be filled by the next fellow candidate on the respective party (or coalition) list.2 Our data show that this rule is used extensively by parties and individual MPs (see online Appendix). On average, a quarter of active MPs during our three legislatures are substitutes. While the smallest share of substitutions was that of the PSD during the short 11th legislature (2 per cent, 19 per cent on average during our three legislatures), the CDS-PP stands out for its high replacement rate in the 10th legislature (54 per cent, 32 per cent on average). As a result of this between-election intra-party turnover, the duration of individual parliamentary mandates varies substantially. Only 59 per cent of MPs in our data set complete their mandates; 19 per cent stayed in parliament for a period between a few days and a quarter of the legislature (see online Appendix). Since our main independent variable, legislative activity, hinges to some extent on the time available in parliament to an MP, the following analysis focuses only on those MPs who were officially ‘active’ in parliament at least 50 per cent of the time in each legislature. This filtering aims to create a level playing field for comparison. Furthermore, we eliminated MPs from the small Green party (PEV), which had no more than two MPs in any legislature, and MPs elected in the two districts representing the Portuguese living abroad in Europe and in the rest of the World. As a result, our final dataset comprises 672 MPs. 4.1 Dependent variables Our first dependent variable is whether the MP was reselected for the party list at the next election. The operationalisation is straightforward and has a value of 1 if the MP’s name reappeared on one of the party’s electoral lists, regardless of the district. The proportion of non-reselected MPs in our subset is 29 per cent. As expected, there are differences across parties and legislatures (Figure 1). Starting with the largest mainstream parties, PSD and PS, the proportion of non-reselected candidates reaches up to 60 per cent and 49 per cent respectively. In contrast, smaller parliamentary groups exhibit quite strong continuity in their composition. The two exceptions are both found in the 12th legislature: the Left Bloc (BE) reconfirmed only half of its MPs while the People’s party (CDS-PP) did not reselect 40 per cent of its MPs. The 11th legislature has the lowest replacement rate of the period. This is probably due to its relatively short duration; some MPs were reselected to allow them to complete their full four-year mandate.3 Figure 1 View largeDownload slide Proportion of reselected MPs by party and legislative term. Note: figures are percentages of reselected MPs. Source: own data. Figure 1 View largeDownload slide Proportion of reselected MPs by party and legislative term. Note: figures are percentages of reselected MPs. Source: own data. Our second dependent variable circumscribes the data set to those MPs who were reselected (n = 432) and it measures whether MPs’ position on the list either increases, decreases or stays the same at the next election (categorical variable with three levels). Since MPs sometimes change the district in which they compete in different legislatures, we do not compare list positions but electoral vulnerability scores as defined by André et al. (2015). Vulnerability scores are computed by dividing the list position occupied by an MP at t−1 and t respectively by the total number of seats the party won in the district at t−1. Take, for instance, a candidate who occupies the 4th position on the list in the Lisbon district. She is elected because her party is awarded 8 seats in the district and her vulnerability is 0.5 (4/8). If at the next election, she is still reconfirmed 4th on the list but this time she runs for the district of Porto, where her party gained only 5 seats in the last election, her vulnerability increases to 0.8 (=4/5). On the other hand, if she runs again for the Lisbon district but occupies the second position, her vulnerability is half that of the previous legislature (2/8 = 0.25). Figure 2 illustrates the distribution of MPs in the three categories across parties and legislatures.4 Small parties display the greater stability in list position from one legislature to the others. BE, PCP and (to some extent) the CDS-PP are expected to win seats only in selected districts and this constrains their range of choices. Among these, the PCP stands out for the lowest internal mobility. Figure 2 View largeDownload slide Change in list position of re-selected MPs by party and legislative term. Source: own data. Figure 2 View largeDownload slide Change in list position of re-selected MPs by party and legislative term. Source: own data. 4.2 Independent and control variables We selected two measures of legislative activity: number of written parliamentary questions and legislative bills. Since the revision of the Standing Orders in 2007 (Seguro, 2016), there have been two types of written parliamentary questions: questions to the government (perguntas ao governo) and information requests (requerimentos). We focus on the former because they are the only ones directed exclusively to ministers and they generally deal with more politically relevant matters.5 MPs can table questions as the only signatory or together with other party members. The median MP in our data set tables 13.5 questions. On the other hand, the interquartile range of 51 questions reveals striking differences among MPs. MPs from large parties submit a substantially lower number of questions or no questions at all (only 17 per cent of MPs, all from either the PSD or PS, have no record). Whereas it is extremely rare for members of different parties to co-sign a question, this occurs more frequently with legislative bills, our second activity indicator. Up to 20 MPs can sign a bill according to the rules of procedures. The median MP signs 4 bills, although there is still considerable variation across and within parties (interquartile range of 13). Since there is no rule ascribing the responsibility (and the visibility which comes with it) of parliamentary questions or legislative bills to the first signatory, the number of questions was calculated as both the number of questions/bills submitted as co-signatory (PQ_CO-SIGN, BILL_CO-SIGN) and as first signatory (PQ_1SIGN, BILL_1SIGN). For instance, representative X co-signed 30 questions but only 5 of them feature X as the first signatory. We computed the log of these indicators to account for the progressively decreasing importance additional questions and bills have as they accumulate in an MP’s record. Finally, we include interactions between our main activity indicators and district magnitude and vulnerability, respectively. MAGNITUDE is operationalised as the log of the number of parliamentary seats assigned to a district. VULNERABILITY employs André et al.’s (2015) formulation. Our models test a range of alternative explanatory factors of reselection and change in ranking. First, we control for the number of parliamentary committees to which each MP is assigned (COMMITTEES). This is arguably a rough proxy of activity because it does not capture the MP’s actual work rate in each of these committees. On the other hand, committee membership is normally associated with a number of activities (e.g. hearings, debate of legislative initiatives) that are highly valued by party elites. Our measure includes both standing and ad hoc committees. In every legislature, the median MP is involved in 3 committees with an interquartile range of 2. PARTY_POSITION takes the value of 1 when the MP holds or held in the past a position in the party executive committee or assembly either at the national or local level. Although the impact of party offices on reselection processes is expected to differ across Portuguese parties, members of these restricted committees should be more likely to be reselected and in higher list positions than other candidates (Gherghina and Chiru, 2010; Navarro, 2014). SENIORITY counts the number of legislative mandates accumulated by each MP in the past. Senior MPs stand out for their experience (Galasso and Nannicini, 2015) and their consolidated networks of support at the local level, thus increasing their chances of reselection. Finally, RETIREMENT is a dichotomous variable taking 1 when the MP is 64 or older at the end of the legislature (retirement age in Portugal was 65 at the end of the 12th legislature). We expect little incentive to engage in parliamentary activities for MPs that have attained the requisites for retirement and plan to step down at the end of the legislature.6 Finally, our models include control variables for: the party (reference category is the Left Bloc); the legislature (reference category is the 10th legislature); gender; and whether parties are in government or opposition (the lack of a direct channel to influence government decision-making makes opposition MPs more prone to using agenda-setting tools such as legislative initiative and parliamentary questions (Martin, 2011)). 5. Results 5.1 Reselection Given the binary nature of our dependent variable, ‘reselection’, we fitted a logistic regression model. Table 1 displays the results through five models. The ‘Base model’ tests the impact of our control variables. ‘All signatures’ and ‘first signatures’ introduce MP-specific data on quantities of bills and questions signed (the latter differs from the former because it only counts activity as first signatory). The last two models present the result of the interaction between our main activity indicators (PERG_1SIGN and BILL_1SIGN) with district magnitude (MAGNITUDE) and electoral vulnerability (VULNERABILITY), respectively. Table 1 Determinants of parliamentary reselection in Portugal Base model All signatures (H1) First signatures (H1) Interaction Vulnerability (H1a) Interaction Magnitude (H1b) INTERCEPT 0.54 (0.65) −1.60 (0.81)* −0.75 (0.78) −0.82 (0.78) −0.70 (0.58) COMMITTEES 0.22 (0.07)** 0.15 (0.08) 0.19 (0.07)** 0.22 (0.08)** 0.29 (0.08)*** PARTY_POSITION 0.44 (0.18)* 0.39 (0.19)* 0.43 (0.19)* 0.40 (0.19)* 0.47 (0.20)* SENIORITY 0.01 (0.05) 0.03 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.05 (0.05) RETIREMENT −0.71 (0.31)* −0.56 (0.32) −0.67 (0.30)* −0.71 (0.31)* −0.58 (0.30)* OPPOSITION −0.02 (0.19) −0.74 (0.25)** −0.28 (0.21) −0.26 (0.21) −0.44 (0.23) WOMAN_MP −0.20 (0.20) −0.21 (0.20) −0.14 (0.20) −0.15 (0.20) −0.12 (0.21) VULNERABILITY −0.33 (0.20) −0.32 (0.20) −0.33 (0.21) −0.07 (0.28) −0.15 (0.20) MAGNITUDE 0.11 (0.10) 0.15 (0.11) 0.16 (0.10) 0.17 (0.10) 0.00 (0.14) PERG_COSIGN 0.25 (0.09)** BILL_COSIGN 0.43 (0.12)*** PERG_1SIGN 0.22 (0.08)** 0.28 (0.15) −0.11 (0.28) BILL_1SIGN 0.21 (0.18) 0.82 (0.32)** −0.70 (0.61) PERG_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.04 (0.17) BILL_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.80 (0.33)* PERG_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.16 (0.10) BILL_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.39 (0.22) AIC 825.51 802.39 819.05 813.23 702.80 Num. obs. 672 672 672 672 544 Base model All signatures (H1) First signatures (H1) Interaction Vulnerability (H1a) Interaction Magnitude (H1b) INTERCEPT 0.54 (0.65) −1.60 (0.81)* −0.75 (0.78) −0.82 (0.78) −0.70 (0.58) COMMITTEES 0.22 (0.07)** 0.15 (0.08) 0.19 (0.07)** 0.22 (0.08)** 0.29 (0.08)*** PARTY_POSITION 0.44 (0.18)* 0.39 (0.19)* 0.43 (0.19)* 0.40 (0.19)* 0.47 (0.20)* SENIORITY 0.01 (0.05) 0.03 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.05 (0.05) RETIREMENT −0.71 (0.31)* −0.56 (0.32) −0.67 (0.30)* −0.71 (0.31)* −0.58 (0.30)* OPPOSITION −0.02 (0.19) −0.74 (0.25)** −0.28 (0.21) −0.26 (0.21) −0.44 (0.23) WOMAN_MP −0.20 (0.20) −0.21 (0.20) −0.14 (0.20) −0.15 (0.20) −0.12 (0.21) VULNERABILITY −0.33 (0.20) −0.32 (0.20) −0.33 (0.21) −0.07 (0.28) −0.15 (0.20) MAGNITUDE 0.11 (0.10) 0.15 (0.11) 0.16 (0.10) 0.17 (0.10) 0.00 (0.14) PERG_COSIGN 0.25 (0.09)** BILL_COSIGN 0.43 (0.12)*** PERG_1SIGN 0.22 (0.08)** 0.28 (0.15) −0.11 (0.28) BILL_1SIGN 0.21 (0.18) 0.82 (0.32)** −0.70 (0.61) PERG_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.04 (0.17) BILL_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.80 (0.33)* PERG_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.16 (0.10) BILL_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.39 (0.22) AIC 825.51 802.39 819.05 813.23 702.80 Num. obs. 672 672 672 672 544 Note: Logistic regression, DV is reselection of MP at the next election = 1, clustered standard errors (MPs), fixed effects of party and legislative term are not shown. ***p < 0.001, **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05. Table 1 Determinants of parliamentary reselection in Portugal Base model All signatures (H1) First signatures (H1) Interaction Vulnerability (H1a) Interaction Magnitude (H1b) INTERCEPT 0.54 (0.65) −1.60 (0.81)* −0.75 (0.78) −0.82 (0.78) −0.70 (0.58) COMMITTEES 0.22 (0.07)** 0.15 (0.08) 0.19 (0.07)** 0.22 (0.08)** 0.29 (0.08)*** PARTY_POSITION 0.44 (0.18)* 0.39 (0.19)* 0.43 (0.19)* 0.40 (0.19)* 0.47 (0.20)* SENIORITY 0.01 (0.05) 0.03 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.05 (0.05) RETIREMENT −0.71 (0.31)* −0.56 (0.32) −0.67 (0.30)* −0.71 (0.31)* −0.58 (0.30)* OPPOSITION −0.02 (0.19) −0.74 (0.25)** −0.28 (0.21) −0.26 (0.21) −0.44 (0.23) WOMAN_MP −0.20 (0.20) −0.21 (0.20) −0.14 (0.20) −0.15 (0.20) −0.12 (0.21) VULNERABILITY −0.33 (0.20) −0.32 (0.20) −0.33 (0.21) −0.07 (0.28) −0.15 (0.20) MAGNITUDE 0.11 (0.10) 0.15 (0.11) 0.16 (0.10) 0.17 (0.10) 0.00 (0.14) PERG_COSIGN 0.25 (0.09)** BILL_COSIGN 0.43 (0.12)*** PERG_1SIGN 0.22 (0.08)** 0.28 (0.15) −0.11 (0.28) BILL_1SIGN 0.21 (0.18) 0.82 (0.32)** −0.70 (0.61) PERG_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.04 (0.17) BILL_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.80 (0.33)* PERG_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.16 (0.10) BILL_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.39 (0.22) AIC 825.51 802.39 819.05 813.23 702.80 Num. obs. 672 672 672 672 544 Base model All signatures (H1) First signatures (H1) Interaction Vulnerability (H1a) Interaction Magnitude (H1b) INTERCEPT 0.54 (0.65) −1.60 (0.81)* −0.75 (0.78) −0.82 (0.78) −0.70 (0.58) COMMITTEES 0.22 (0.07)** 0.15 (0.08) 0.19 (0.07)** 0.22 (0.08)** 0.29 (0.08)*** PARTY_POSITION 0.44 (0.18)* 0.39 (0.19)* 0.43 (0.19)* 0.40 (0.19)* 0.47 (0.20)* SENIORITY 0.01 (0.05) 0.03 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.01 (0.05) 0.05 (0.05) RETIREMENT −0.71 (0.31)* −0.56 (0.32) −0.67 (0.30)* −0.71 (0.31)* −0.58 (0.30)* OPPOSITION −0.02 (0.19) −0.74 (0.25)** −0.28 (0.21) −0.26 (0.21) −0.44 (0.23) WOMAN_MP −0.20 (0.20) −0.21 (0.20) −0.14 (0.20) −0.15 (0.20) −0.12 (0.21) VULNERABILITY −0.33 (0.20) −0.32 (0.20) −0.33 (0.21) −0.07 (0.28) −0.15 (0.20) MAGNITUDE 0.11 (0.10) 0.15 (0.11) 0.16 (0.10) 0.17 (0.10) 0.00 (0.14) PERG_COSIGN 0.25 (0.09)** BILL_COSIGN 0.43 (0.12)*** PERG_1SIGN 0.22 (0.08)** 0.28 (0.15) −0.11 (0.28) BILL_1SIGN 0.21 (0.18) 0.82 (0.32)** −0.70 (0.61) PERG_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.04 (0.17) BILL_1SIGN*VULNERABILITY −0.80 (0.33)* PERG_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.16 (0.10) BILL_1SIGN*MAGNITUDE 0.39 (0.22) AIC 825.51 802.39 819.05 813.23 702.80 Num. obs. 672 672 672 672 544 Note: Logistic regression, DV is reselection of MP at the next election = 1, clustered standard errors (MPs), fixed effects of party and legislative term are not shown. ***p < 0.001, **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05. As far as our main explanatory factors are concerned, co-sponsoring of bills and questions are positively correlated to reselection. Co-sponsoring many bills, in particular, is significantly associated with a higher probability of reselection. On the other hand, when only first signatures are considered, the effect of the coefficient for bills weakens and ceases to be statistically significant. We interpret these findings as evidence that, on average, MPs who co-sign more bills and parliamentary questions are also the ones who tend to receive more invitations to do so. In other words, it is a proxy of the relevance of their involvement in party activities, a factor which should be associated with reselection. On the other hand, we can conjecture that being the main sponsor of many bills does not affect the chances of reselection because the party selectorate values quality over quantity for policy proposals.7 Among the other explanatory factors of reselection, ‘COMMITTEES’ displays a significant and positive coefficient. Using ‘all signatures’ as a reference model, one additional committee membership increases the odds of reselection by a factor of 20 per cent (95 per cent confidence interval (CI) between 5 per cent and 38 per cent). As expected, the odds for MPs who hold or held in the past some type of party office (at national or local level, PARTY_POSITION) are 56 per cent higher than the odds of rank and file MPs (95 per cent CI between 9 per cent and 1.25 per cent). Finally, we find that the prospect of RETIREMENT negatively affects the chances of reselection: the odds decrease by a factor of 50 per cent (95 CI between 7 per cent and 73 per cent). H1a states that the effect of legislative productivity on candidate reselection should be stronger for vulnerable MPs. Our results tell a different story. Both interaction coefficients of electoral vulnerability with BILL_1SIGN and PQ_1SIGN respectively are negative and their statistical significance is weak or null. Figure 3A plots the coefficients of BILL_1SIGN (along the y-axis) conditional on electoral vulnerability (along the x-axis). It shows that with increasing vulnerability, the magnitude of the coefficients decreases and becomes negative for MPs entering parliament as substitutes (vulnerability greater than 1).8 This finding suggests that other criteria for reselection are germane when MPs are at the bottom of the party list. Our interviews confirm that parliamentary productivity is just one of the criteria used by elites to make decisions on reselection. Other criteria, such as the renewal of representatives, their territorial representation and links to the constituencies, or their expertise and competence are also equally important to determine the final composition of party lists. Moreover, the internal distribution of power—that is the power of negotiation of local party structures vis-à-vis national party bodies—and the discretionary authority of party leadership are additional key factors for MPs’ reselection. Figure 3 View largeDownload slide (A and B) Estimated coefficients for legislative activity (bills as first signatory) on reselection by electoral vulnerability and district magnitude. Note: The solid lines plot the conditional coefficients of legislative activity, based on the results from model ‘First signatures’ in Table 1. The shaded area represents 95 per cent confidence intervals. Figure 3 View largeDownload slide (A and B) Estimated coefficients for legislative activity (bills as first signatory) on reselection by electoral vulnerability and district magnitude. Note: The solid lines plot the conditional coefficients of legislative activity, based on the results from model ‘First signatures’ in Table 1. The shaded area represents 95 per cent confidence intervals. To inspect H1b—positing that the larger the district magnitude, the stronger the impact of legislative productivity on candidate reselection—we decided to limit our subset to the two largest parties, PS and PDS, which are the only parties to elect representatives in all districts. The interaction between (the logarithm of) magnitude and our two main activity covariates (BILL_1SIGN and PQ_1SIGN) is positive but, once again, it is not statistically significant at 0.05 per cent. Figure 3B shows that only an increase of activities of MPs competing in large districts (Lisbon and Porto) has a positive impact on their probability of reselection that is significant at the conventional level, which confirms our expectation. While these findings corroborate previous studies on the significant impact of district magnitude (Teixeira, 2009; Brack et al., 2012; Pilet et al., 2012), we can conjecture that other factors are important in smaller districts such as the ties between the MP and local actors. 5.2 Change in list position Our second goal is to test whether parliamentary activity is associated with a change in list position at the next election. Since we are dealing with a three-category dependent variable—vulnerability can stay the SAME, INCREASE or DECREASE—we chose to run a multinomial regression model. The reference level is SAME. Table 2 reports the results replicating the first 3 models presented in Table 1. Table 2 Determinants of change in list position of reselected MPs Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Decrease Increase Decrease Increase Decrease Increase INTERCEPT −4.72 (1.07)*** −5.22 (1.22)*** −4.57 (1.28)*** −5.37 (1.44)*** −4.48 (1.22)*** −5.43 (1.37)*** COMMITTEES 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.06 (0.11) PARTY_POSITION −0.08 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.14 (0.31) SENIORITY 0.14 (0.08) −0.08 (0.09) 0.14 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) 0.13 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) RETIREMENT −0.69 (0.68) 0.44 (0.65) −0.68 (0.68) 0.46 (0.65) −0.70 (0.68) 0.43 (0.65) OPPOSITION −0.53 (0.40) 0.46 (0.39) −0.49 (0.48) 0.31 (0.49) −0.41 (0.43) 0.37 (0.42) WOMAN_MP −0.65 (0.32)* −0.21 (0.33) −0.65 (0.32)* −0.20 (0.34) −0.67 (0.32)* −0.18 (0.33) VULNERABILITY 1.99 (0.38)*** 0.04 (0.47) 1.98 (0.39)*** −0.05 (0.48) 2.01 (0.38)*** −0.02 (0.48) MAGNITUDE 0.89 (0.18)*** 1.14 (0.21)*** 0.88 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** 0.86 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** PERG_COSIGN −0.01 (0.15) 0.15 (0.17) BILL_COSIGN −0.02 (0.19) −0.06 (0.19) PERG_1SIGN −0.13 (0.14) 0.10 (0.15) BILL_1SIGN 0.09 (0.23) −0.06 (0.23) AIC 759.43 766.32 764.77 Num. obs. 432 432 432 Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Decrease Increase Decrease Increase Decrease Increase INTERCEPT −4.72 (1.07)*** −5.22 (1.22)*** −4.57 (1.28)*** −5.37 (1.44)*** −4.48 (1.22)*** −5.43 (1.37)*** COMMITTEES 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.06 (0.11) PARTY_POSITION −0.08 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.14 (0.31) SENIORITY 0.14 (0.08) −0.08 (0.09) 0.14 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) 0.13 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) RETIREMENT −0.69 (0.68) 0.44 (0.65) −0.68 (0.68) 0.46 (0.65) −0.70 (0.68) 0.43 (0.65) OPPOSITION −0.53 (0.40) 0.46 (0.39) −0.49 (0.48) 0.31 (0.49) −0.41 (0.43) 0.37 (0.42) WOMAN_MP −0.65 (0.32)* −0.21 (0.33) −0.65 (0.32)* −0.20 (0.34) −0.67 (0.32)* −0.18 (0.33) VULNERABILITY 1.99 (0.38)*** 0.04 (0.47) 1.98 (0.39)*** −0.05 (0.48) 2.01 (0.38)*** −0.02 (0.48) MAGNITUDE 0.89 (0.18)*** 1.14 (0.21)*** 0.88 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** 0.86 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** PERG_COSIGN −0.01 (0.15) 0.15 (0.17) BILL_COSIGN −0.02 (0.19) −0.06 (0.19) PERG_1SIGN −0.13 (0.14) 0.10 (0.15) BILL_1SIGN 0.09 (0.23) −0.06 (0.23) AIC 759.43 766.32 764.77 Num. obs. 432 432 432 Note: Multinomial logit regression, DV is change in list position at the next election, reference category is SAME, effects of party and legislative term are not shown. ***p < 0.001, **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05. Table 2 Determinants of change in list position of reselected MPs Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Decrease Increase Decrease Increase Decrease Increase INTERCEPT −4.72 (1.07)*** −5.22 (1.22)*** −4.57 (1.28)*** −5.37 (1.44)*** −4.48 (1.22)*** −5.43 (1.37)*** COMMITTEES 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.06 (0.11) PARTY_POSITION −0.08 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.14 (0.31) SENIORITY 0.14 (0.08) −0.08 (0.09) 0.14 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) 0.13 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) RETIREMENT −0.69 (0.68) 0.44 (0.65) −0.68 (0.68) 0.46 (0.65) −0.70 (0.68) 0.43 (0.65) OPPOSITION −0.53 (0.40) 0.46 (0.39) −0.49 (0.48) 0.31 (0.49) −0.41 (0.43) 0.37 (0.42) WOMAN_MP −0.65 (0.32)* −0.21 (0.33) −0.65 (0.32)* −0.20 (0.34) −0.67 (0.32)* −0.18 (0.33) VULNERABILITY 1.99 (0.38)*** 0.04 (0.47) 1.98 (0.39)*** −0.05 (0.48) 2.01 (0.38)*** −0.02 (0.48) MAGNITUDE 0.89 (0.18)*** 1.14 (0.21)*** 0.88 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** 0.86 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** PERG_COSIGN −0.01 (0.15) 0.15 (0.17) BILL_COSIGN −0.02 (0.19) −0.06 (0.19) PERG_1SIGN −0.13 (0.14) 0.10 (0.15) BILL_1SIGN 0.09 (0.23) −0.06 (0.23) AIC 759.43 766.32 764.77 Num. obs. 432 432 432 Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Decrease Increase Decrease Increase Decrease Increase INTERCEPT −4.72 (1.07)*** −5.22 (1.22)*** −4.57 (1.28)*** −5.37 (1.44)*** −4.48 (1.22)*** −5.43 (1.37)*** COMMITTEES 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.05 (0.11) 0.11 (0.10) −0.06 (0.11) PARTY_POSITION −0.08 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.15 (0.31) −0.07 (0.29) 0.14 (0.31) SENIORITY 0.14 (0.08) −0.08 (0.09) 0.14 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) 0.13 (0.08) −0.06 (0.09) RETIREMENT −0.69 (0.68) 0.44 (0.65) −0.68 (0.68) 0.46 (0.65) −0.70 (0.68) 0.43 (0.65) OPPOSITION −0.53 (0.40) 0.46 (0.39) −0.49 (0.48) 0.31 (0.49) −0.41 (0.43) 0.37 (0.42) WOMAN_MP −0.65 (0.32)* −0.21 (0.33) −0.65 (0.32)* −0.20 (0.34) −0.67 (0.32)* −0.18 (0.33) VULNERABILITY 1.99 (0.38)*** 0.04 (0.47) 1.98 (0.39)*** −0.05 (0.48) 2.01 (0.38)*** −0.02 (0.48) MAGNITUDE 0.89 (0.18)*** 1.14 (0.21)*** 0.88 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** 0.86 (0.18)*** 1.18 (0.22)*** PERG_COSIGN −0.01 (0.15) 0.15 (0.17) BILL_COSIGN −0.02 (0.19) −0.06 (0.19) PERG_1SIGN −0.13 (0.14) 0.10 (0.15) BILL_1SIGN 0.09 (0.23) −0.06 (0.23) AIC 759.43 766.32 764.77 Num. obs. 432 432 432 Note: Multinomial logit regression, DV is change in list position at the next election, reference category is SAME, effects of party and legislative term are not shown. ***p < 0.001, **p < 0.01, *p < 0.05. Our models reveal that most of the covariates accounting for reselection do not help explain variation in electoral vulnerability. In particular, none of the coefficients of our activity-related predictors is statistically significant. Keeping all other variables constant, we find that the worse the MPs’ rankings are in the electoral list, the greater the odds of being reselected with a lower ranking at the next election as opposed to maintaining the old position. This might result from the inclusion of new higher-positioned candidates in the party list at each election, which pushes already vulnerable candidates further down in terms of ranking. Second, as expected, the larger the district—and the longer the electoral list—the stronger the chances of list mobility at the next election. Finally, the odds of demotion in the electoral list are lower for women MPs than for men.9 It is also interesting to note that productivity is not associated with a change in list position. This means that MPs holding a safe seat do not display less (or more) productivity than deputies in vulnerable positions. We tried different model specifications (see online Appendix). First, we transformed our categorical dependent variable into a continuous one by taking the difference between the two vulnerability scores and ran a standard linear regression. The new dependent variable is centred at 0, corresponding to no change in the vulnerability score. Vulnerability can increase up to −12 and decrease up to 2. Second, we eliminated all heads of the list, since by definition their vulnerability cannot decrease (unless they change district). Finally, we ran our models using observations only on members of the largest parties, PS and PSD, which jointly account for 75 per cent (n = 325) of observations. The three model specifications yield remarkably consistent results. 6. Conclusion The process of candidate reselection is of great interest to scholars studying parliamentary elites and, in particular, how political parties affect their careers. This study investigates the factors influencing the reselection of legislators in the Portuguese parliament. Drawing on the extant literature on candidate reselection, we formulate and test whether individual parliamentary output has any significant consequence for the probability of reselection and the position on the party list at the next election. Our results demonstrate that productivity is strongly related to the chances of being reselected (with the exception of initiating a bill as first signatory). The findings thus confirm the importance of MPs' performance. This association comes with two caveats. First, contrary to our expectations, electorally vulnerable MPs that are also hard-working do not have a greater chance of being reselected. What emerges from the interviews we conducted is that quality (e.g. the choice of highly politically salient topics which attract a lot of media coverage) may trump quantity for representatives that want to make a name for themselves inside the party. Secondly, as expected, we found that it is mainly in large districts that dynamic MPs have a stronger likelihood of reselection. In smaller districts, intra-party competition is low and other criteria, such as the relationship with voters and local interests, are more important. Moreover, these MPs have more incentives to work on local rather than on national issues, curtailing the range of available topics to act upon. As far as our alternative explanatory factors are concerned, we find that the number of committee memberships and holding party offices at either national or local level, respectively, are positively and significantly associated with reselection. Both results confirm the importance of party directorates, in particular the party in central office, in controlling political recruitment and selecting the profile of national representatives. On the one hand, appointment to more than one standing committee or to specific ad hoc committees can be read as a sign of trust on the part of party elites. On the other, we interpret the relevance of holding office as a demonstration that the ‘ideal’ candidate, from the point of view of party organisations, is one who has had previous party work experience, and has proved to be disciplined and useful to party organisations. As highlighted also in our interviews, the main criteria used to select candidates in Portugal are partisan and reselection crucially depends on the position MPs have within party directorates. As regards our second dependent variable, our data suggest that legislators’ activities, as well as our alternative explanatory factors, are not statistically associated with a change in the list position of prospective MPs. Various reasons can explain this finding. First, factional disputes related to securing a public office are a key aspect in the intra-party functioning of Portuguese parties. For instance, newly elected leaders traditionally reinforce their basis of support through candidate selection by marginalising opponents of minority factions. Second, informal rules of candidate selection aim to combine leadership autonomy and the interests of local party branches, thus making political recruitment more complex and uncertain. Informal rules are also important in determining specific criteria that orientate the choice of candidates with a specific profile (e.g. age, profession, political background, etc.). As a third point, it is worth mentioning the importance of specific organisational cultures that may influence the position of candidates on the party list (e.g. the ‘rotation’ principle adopted by the BE or the importance of some regional branches in the main parties). In particular, the null effect of seniority can also be attributed to the fact that a considerable proportion of MPs may simply decide, for a variety of reasons, not to run for re-election. Two issues should be kept in mind when interpreting the results of this study. First, a number of factors (personal networks, reputation, voter-MPs contacts, etc.) may play an important role for candidate reselection but could not be measured here. As our results show, the model may be underspecified, which means that future studies should try to collect more data and differently specify our predictors. Second, examining the post-parliamentary careers of MPs who were not reselected may shed more light on the process of candidate selection, in particular with regard to party factionalism or the internal balance of power between central and local party organisations. It is possible that MPs with a political background at the local level find it more interesting to undertake a career at this level rather than continuing being involved in national politics. Following the trajectories of legislators before and after parliamentary experience warrants more scrutiny in future research. Footnotes 1 Furthermore, Portugal stands out from other Southern European countries hit by the economic crisis, for example Italy, for the remarkable stability of its party system, which allows us to hold systemic or contextual characteristics as a constant in our research design. 2 Law 14/1979, Art. 18. 3 The second Sócrates government was voted down after only two years, leading to snap elections in May 2011. 4 To account for the fact that PSD and CDS-PP ran with a coalition list in the 2015 election, we summed their seats when calculating their MPs’ vulnerability in 2015. 5 The same question can be replicated when it is addressed to more than one minister or when it refers to more than one council. These duplicate questions were dropped. 6 We also tested whether experience in government or in the European Parliament (due to the associated visibility which comes with these offices) and MP’s specialisation on specific issue areas are influential for reselection. Their impact was not statistically significant and they were dropped from the model (see online Appendix). 7 The Communist MPs (PCP) were dropped from this model because they were all reselected. 8 Findings do not change when we use parliamentary questions instead of bills. Conditional coefficients remain positive and stable (H1a expect them to increase) as vulnerability increases, but cease to be statistically significant for high levels of vulnerability (see online Appendix). 9 This effect may be linked to the party law introduced in 2007 (see Baum and Espírito-Santo, 2012). Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and Vera Ramalhete for her research assistance. 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Journal

Parliamentary AffairsOxford University Press

Published: Oct 1, 2018

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