Think of good-looking politicians around the world and a few obvious examples spring to mind: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau or French President Emmanuel Macron are the obvious picks from the G7 leaders.
Both are left-wingers, but both also buck the trend: a recently completed academic study has found that good-looking candidates tend to be on the right of the political spectrum.
Politicians from the right (of any gender) were found to be more beautiful in Australia, Finland, the US and the European Parliament, according to an international study.
The studies did not take into account the British Conservative party (or indeed the United Kingdom Independence party) when coming to this conclusion (perhaps not unsurprisingly, given the results).
The academics from Stockholm and Munich who carried out the study suggested the “considerable beauty premium in the labour market” meant better looking people tend to be wealthier, and therefore are more likely to pursue economically right-wing policies to preserve their wealth.
The labour market beauty premium, the idea that more attractive people tend to be more successful in the world of work, has been noted before in multiple studies. Various studies show the effects can be replicated in the world of politics.
A study on the impact of beauty in Finland found candidates one standard deviation from the average beauty rating receive 20 per cent more votes for non-incumbents in parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile a study on Australian politics found the same level of beauty saw an increase of up to two percentage points in candidate vote shares.
Panu Poutvaara of the University of Munich, one of the authors on three of the studies who compiled the results for IZA World of Labor, said: “Beauty can make a difference in a tight race, particularly for those running near the electoral margin. Therefore, a political party intent on maximizing its electoral success would be well advised to pay attention to how its candidates look.
“For voters, the main advice is caution: To pause for a moment to reflect to what extent one’s voting decision is influenced by candidate looks.”