Understanding the iron law of andrarchy: Effects of Candidate Gender on Voting in Scotland

Donley T. Studlar, Susan Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


As in most countries of the Western world, the number of women holding elected office in Britain is small. This article explores some reasons for the paucity of women in elected office by examining voting records for over 2,800 candidates for Scottish district elections in 1984. We found that women candidates are less likely to win election than are male candidates and they poll somewhat fewer votes. These differences can be almost entirely explained by the fact that women candidates are much less likely to enjoy personal or party incumbency, slightly more likely to run against incumbents, and less likely to be unopposed. In areas of Labour Party strength, however, Scottish women candidates fare slightly worse than comparable men candidates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)174-191
Number of pages18
JournalComparative Political Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Understanding the iron law of andrarchy: Effects of Candidate Gender on Voting in Scotland'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this