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The process by which organizations replace or endorse existing officers who have already successfully gone through previous candidate selection procedures. In political parties interest focuses on reselection for parliamentary candidates by parties prior to each general election. In Britain, where a first‐past‐the‐post electoral system is used, reselection is the responsibility of local constituency parties. Three types of reselection have been used: first, reselection by a constituency party elected committee; secondly, reselection by an electoral college composed of delegates of affiliated groups within the constituency party; and thirdly, reselection by all local constituency party members on the basis of one member one vote. The second and third types of selection may be mandatory or discretionary, based on the will of a constituency party elected committee to trigger a full reselection procedure.

The first type is common in parties that are elitist in values, prefer to see their candidates as representatives rather than as delegates, and seek longevity in candidate service. The British Conservative Party takes this approach, meaning that candidates are generally very secure. The second type is common in parties that prefer to see their candidates more as delegates than as representatives. They wish to see different parts of a constituency party sit in judgement on their parliamentary performances and deselect them as candidates if they have failed to reflect local party interests. The British Labour Party took this approach between 1981 and 1990. However, the Labour Party switched to the third type at the 1993 party conference. This reflected desires to turn the party into a mass membership party, in which greater participatory democracy in reselection is achieved as an end in itself, without imposing constraints upon the autonomy of the nominated representative. During this period Labour also moved from mandatory full reselection procedures to discretionary trigger approaches. The Liberal Democrats have always followed the principle of one member one vote.

For the position in the United States, see also primary elections.


Subjects: Politics.

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