Local election results in Britain show differences in electoral support for candidates after controlling for ethnic origin. Name classification software identifies three ethnic-origin categories among candidates: British, other European and non-European. Between 1973-2012, a total of more than 400,000 candidate names are examined in contrasting types of election. Although ‘first past the post’ voting is used throughout some local authorities use multi-member electoral districts (normally two or three seats) to select councillors while others employ single-member districts. In the multi-member cases, after comparing within-party slates and finishing order generally, candidates of British origin perform better, while non-Europeans attract fewer votes. In single-member districts, relative party vote share is adversely affected when British candidates are succeeded by others with European and non-European surnames; the reverse pattern of succession correlates with a boost in votes. In some cases, therefore, electoral outcomes are being determined by parties’ choice of candidates.
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