Research on geographically-targeted spending under closed-list proportional representation (CLPR) is characterized by debate over whether ruling parties target core supporters or swing voters. We show that when CLPR is used in multiple districts and separate competitions are conducted in each, parties can reverse the formula through which votes are converted into seats to calculate how many additional votes they need to capture an additional seat. This enables parties to rank districts according to how close they are to winning an additional seat. We then show that under divisor-based formulae, parties will find they need fewer additional votes to capture another seat in districts where they captured fewer seats (‘marginal districts’). We posit that in these systems, ruling parties will steer geographically-targeted spending toward marginal PR districts and we present evidence of this from Japan.
- Closed-list proportional representation
- Divisor-based formula
- Electoral systems
- Geographically-targeted spending
- Marginal districts
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Political Science and International Relations