‘Beautiful politicians’ win more votes, study reveals.
There are 11 contestants for the presidential candidature but the real competition today is between Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa and Nelson Chamisa.
The two are selected based on public understanding of the huge population and demographics of fan base of the leaders
Mnangagwa is above 80 years wereas Chamisa is 45 years.
The assertion that ‘beautiful politicians’ win more votes if it is anything to go by to determine the elections results, Chamisa will triumph over Mnangagwa today.
In Zimbabwe, the debate is incomplete since the two contesting presidents never underwent a ‘beauty rating’.
But going by information already on public dormain, the two candidates have been physically scrutinised against each other, Chamisa seems to be more handsome than the elderly contestant.
To solidify the assertion, Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) has through the ballot paper tried to turn the pivot in favour of Mnangagwa by distorting the picture of Chamisa so that it becomes hardly recognisable and at the same time modifying that of Mnangagwa so that he looks electable to those who go for looks.
The study conducted by ANU economist Dr Andrew Leigh and University of South Australia student Amy King, found that voters tend to opt for the better-looking candidate.
“Compared to the average-looking political candidate, a candidate at the 84th percentile of the beauty distribution, as judged by our independent raters, receives an extra 1½ to 2 per cent of the vote.
In some seats, this is the difference between winning and losing,” Dr Leigh said.
The researchers used ‘how-to-vote’ photographs, which were rated by four independent raters chosen to be representative of the electorate.
Ofcourse, ‘beauty is in the eyes of the behold’, is true a quote but when it comes to electionsit is different, the study reveals.
“There was strong agreement across our raters as to who were the most beautiful candidates. When it comes to assessing politicians, beauty is not in the eye of the beholder,” Ms King said.
The researchers performed a series of robustness checks, and found little evidence that confounding factors such as age, race or political party were driving the results, Ms King went on to say.
Ms King and Dr Leigh also analysed the effect of beauty separately for male and female candidates, and for incumbents and challengers.
Of the 11 contestants, only one is a women and the study reveals that looks are hardly considered when electing female candidates.
“For both male and female candidates, it helps to be better-looking. But we find some evidence that beauty benefits male candidates more than female candidates.
This may be because female beauty carries negative connotations in the minds of some voters,” said Dr Leigh.
“Beauty matters more for challengers than for incumbents. This suggests that looks affect first impressions. Once voters come to know a politician, their physical appearance does not matter as much.
“Washington DC has been described as ‘Hollywood for ugly people’. But our results show that Australian voters are systematically choosing more handsome candidates to represent them in Canberra.”
Elections is not only determined by manifesto or voting buying through dishing out good goodies