This project studies the preferences of constituents in Britain, Germany and Austria concerning the activities and behaviour of their Member of Parliament (MP). The project is carried out jointly with Nick Vivyan (Durham University) and is funded by the British Academy and the Austrian National Bank. Konstantin Glinitzer and Jakob-Moritz Eberl have supported this research at various stages.
Our initial UK-focused work uses a series of conjoint analyses to examine what voters want from their MPs. Our focus is, first, on how constituents want their MP to balance local constituency service and national policy work and, second, on how independent voters want their MP to be (joint work with Rosie Campbell and Phil Cowley).
A short summary of our main results for Britain can be found here. We are currently in the process of extending this work to Germany and Austria.
Vivyan, Nick and Markus Wagner, (2016, with Nick Vivyan) House or home? Constituent preferences over legislator effort allocation, European Journal of Political Research, 55(1): 81-99. Paper
Campbell, Rosie, Phil Cowley, Nick Vivyan and Markus Wagner, Legislator Dissent as a Valence Signal, British Journal of Political Science. Paper
Vivyan, Nick and Markus Wagner, 'What do voters want from their MPs?', Political Quarterly.
Vivyan, Nick (2014) 'Attention-seeking constituents? How voters want MPs to spend their time', in Phil Cowley and Robert Ford (eds.) Sex, Lies and the Ballot Box, London: Biteback Publishing.
Related work on MP accountability Vivyan, Nick, Wagner, Markus, Jessica Tarlov (2012) 'Representative misconduct, voter perceptions and accountability: evidence from the 2009 House of Commons expenses scandal', Electoral Studies, 31(4): 750-763. Paper (condensed and edited version published as 'Where did Electoral Accountability Fail? MP Misconduct, Constituent Perceptions and Vote Choice', in Jennifer vanHeerde-Hudson (ed.), The Political Costs of the 2009 Expenses Scandal, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014.)
Vivyan, Nick and Markus Wagner (2012) 'Do voters reward rebellion? The electoral accountability of MPs in Britain', European Journal of Political Research, 51(2): 235-264.PaperSupplemental materials