Positioning Political Parties: The 2005 UK General Election

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After identifying the paucity of positioning research relating to political marketing the construct is defined and practical examples of its application in politics provided. The analysis of the 2005 election starts by considering the long term framing of political issues and concludes that this, overall, provided Labour with a competitive advantage. Next the positioning dilemmas facing the three national parties in British politics at the start of the campaign are highlighted. Using a basic positioning model, the positioning strategies followed during the campaign itself are then discussed, both in terms of policies and image/emotional positioning approaches. The attempts by the opposition parties to reposition Labour and the latter's defensive reactions are discussed at this point. Then, the way the wider positioning of the parties was targeted at electoral segments is considered. The paper concludes with an attempt to explain the election result in terms of the relative success or failure of the positioning strategies adopted.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1362/026725705775194184

Publication date: November 1, 2005

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