The processes political parties use to select their candidates for public office constitute a crucial element of political recruitment in representative democracies and provide important insights into how power is distributed within party organisations. In this article, we develop a typology for understanding the diversity of preselection mechanisms in Australia's major parties that is based on degrees of influence between the central and local components of the party organisation. The typology in turn reflects preselection rules as public expressions of intra-party power sharing arrangements. We also identify the institutional, strategic and normative factors (including electoral systems, the accommodation of intra-party groups, candidate quality, efficiency and social norms) that influence the choices parties have to make when selecting and implementing a particular system.

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Keywords Australian Labor Party, candidate selection, Liberal Party of Australia
Persistent URL
Journal Australian Journal of Political Science
Cross, W, & Gauja, A. (Anika). (2014). Designing candidate selection methods: Exploring diversity in Australian political parties. Australian Journal of Political Science, 49(1), 22–39. doi:10.1080/10361146.2013.873769