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|Title:||The Impact of Electoral Context on the Electoral Effectiveness of District Level Campaigning: Popularity Equilibrium and the Case of the 2015 British General Election|
|Abstract:||A significant academic literature has demonstrated that if effectively deployed, more intense campaigning at the district or constituency level can deliver electoral payoffs. Both single country and comparative studies tend to show similar patterns despite variations in electoral systems (see for example: Denver & Hands, 1997; Fisher, Cutts & Fieldhouse, 2011; Gschwend & Zittel, 2015; Karp, Banducci & Bowler, 2007; Sudulich, Wall & Farrell, 2013). However, the campaign effects may not necessarily be consistent in respect of electoral payoffs. Campaigns do not occur in a vacuum and contextual factors, exogenous to the campaign activity itself, may have a significant effect on the level of their electoral impact (Fisher, Cutts & Fieldhouse, 2011). The 2015 General Election in Britain is a particularly interesting case, as compared with previous elections, there was a key contextual factor which could impact significantly on the effectiveness of the parties’ campaigns; the electoral popularity of the Liberal Democrats, which had plummeted since 2010. By way of contrast, the relative popularity of the Conservatives and Labour between the two elections of 2010 and 2015 remained largely unchanged. This provides the environment whereby we can compare the effects of both similar and changed levels of party popularity on campaign effectiveness. We do this by assessing the contextual impact of the popularity equilibrium (Fisher, Cutts & Fieldhouse, 2011) at both national and district levels. In essence, we posit that the Liberal Democrats’ dramatic decline in popularity was highly likely to limit the party’s campaign effectiveness.|
|Appears in Collections:||Dept of Politics, History and Law Research Papers|
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