A reader sent me an interesting academic article from the European Journal of Political Research. It is a study of whether physical attractiveness affects the electoral success of candidates, using the North Rhine-Westphalia state election of 2005 as the test.
There were 512 candidates and around 1,000 people rated their official photos for attractiveness (not being told they were candidates) on a scale from 1 to 7 (heh should have been 1 to 10).
They found that variations in candidate attractiveness thus can cause a change of up to 4% in the vote.
They also found having more attractive candidates increases turnout. For every grade higher on the 1 – 7 attractiveness scale, the turnout increases by 1.15%, meaning attractive candidates can lead to an increased turnout of up to 6.9%.
Applying the study to the election result, they found that in the 128 constituencies, from 6 to 17 constituencies could have changed hands if the losing party had a more attractive candidate. So for 13% of electorates, candidate attractiveness can make a difference.No tag for this post.