We demonstrate that the availability of easily applied heuristics conditions the effect of candidates' ideological positioning on intra-party success in Finnish parliamentary elections, using data from three Finnish elections (2011-2019). The effect of ideological distance matters most when the share of recognizable candidates with typical PVEAs on the list is limited. The results suggest that voters use ideological cues as the base for their voting decisions.
We find that ideological positions of candidates matter for their electoral success in Finnish parliamentary elections, using data from three Finnish elections (2011-2019). The effect of ideological distance is large enough to be a decisive factor in intra-party competition between the last candidate that was elected and the first one that was not.
The paper shows that the effect of geographic remoteness depends on local party strength and the degree of urbanization. Moreover, empirical results confirm that nearby located localized co-partisans decrease a candidate’s own vote share. These findings have important implications for politicians’ careers, party nomination strategies and future empirical research on intra-party competition.