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Matteo Boldrini

Abstract

One of the most significant phenomena in contemporary politics is personalization. Several studies have shown that voters are more influenced by the characteristics of leaders and/or candidates than in the past. This analysis examines the paths of personalization taken by candidates in the single-member districts during the 2022 Italian General Election, contributing to the existing knowledge on decentralized personalization in the behavioural arena. Using an original dataset on candidates from the four main coalitions participating in the 2022 General Election (centre-right, centre-left, M5S, and Azione-Italia Viva), the study aims to assess how political professionalization, localness, and affiliation with radical/extremist parties influence the share of personal votes. Consistent with the literature, the research confirms that local candidates tend to receive a higher share of personal votes, while candidates from radical or extremist parties tend to receive less. The study also finds that political professionalization is associated with a decreased share of personal votes, adding complexity to the decentralization of personalization and the transformation of Italian parliamentary representation.

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Section
Research Articles