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Campaigning and advertising: an evaluation of the components of constituency activism at recent British General Elections

By R.J. Johnston and C.J. Pattie


It is becoming increasingly accepted among analysts of British voting behaviour that, contrary to the conventional wisdom, local campaigning matters. The widespread view, largely propagated by David Butler and his co-workers on the Nuffield election studies, has been that campaigning in the constituencies by party activists and their candidates has no influence on the outcome: the distribution of votes across the parties in each constituency is a function of the national campaign only.\ud \ud This view was initially challenged by studies of canvassing in the 1970s, and extended during the 1980s by studies of campaign spending in the constituencies; further support was provided by work in the late 1980s and early 1990s on party canvassing activity. This note takes the challenge forward with an analysis of the impact of different aspects of constituency campaigning

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 1998
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