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Local Campaign Management: Winning Votes or Wasting Resources?

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Current debates within studies of election campaign management focus on the extent to which the process has evolved, becoming more centrally-orchestrated and professional, over the last two decades. The normative account is that election campaigns focus on news management and elevate the status of party leaders; mediatised pseudo-events have replaced direct interaction with the voter. However marketing literature, as well as work on local campaigning, suggests an alternative model is more successful for electoral systems such as the UK. This promotes a more disparate set of individually tailored campaigns focusing on issues relevant to constituencies. In 2005 it seems that parties were promoting this more localised approach, however do voters value this more postmodern approach, or is it the national campaign that counts. Research among voters within three marginal constituencies finds that both national and local factors are influential upon voter behaviour; furthermore however, a not insignificant group of voters make their choice based on the service provision of their local representative.
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Keywords: CAMPAIGNING; CONSTITUENCY SERVICE; ELECTION; PARTY POLITICS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-11-01

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