Ethnic solidarity and the vote: Mapuche candidates and voters in Chile
In this article, we evaluate ethnic solidarity and the vote in Chile with reference to the Mapuche, the largest and most traditional ethnic group in the country. We use electoral data from the mayoral elections of 2012, drawn from all the municipalities of the Araucanía, the region with the largest percentage of Mapuche population. Using a multi-level linear regression model and controlling for poverty and rurality, we found that Mapuche candidates, regardless of their political orientation, were indeed more successful than non-Mapuche candidates in areas with the greatest concentration of Mapuche voters. Additionally, we used results from an unpublished opinion survey conducted in three municipalities of the Araucanía. We concluded that after controlling for other variables ethnic solidarity prevails as a robust predictor of electoral behaviour, albeit more strongly in rural areas than urban ones. The Chilean case, moreover, is useful for studying the strategies used by the traditional parties that promote this solidarity – that is, by presenting candidates with Mapuche surnames in their lists.
Contreras, G., Morales, M. (2017) Ethnic solidarity and the vote: Mapuche candidates and voters in Chile. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies.