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Campaigning on an upper level? Individual campaigning in the 2009 European Parliament elections in its determinants

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Abstract

Election campaigns are not only party campaigns, but depend to a significant degree on the efforts and activities of individual candidates. While some country-specific analyses of candidate campaigning have been done, large-N comparative studies are missing. The 2009 European Election Candidate Study, conducted in all 27 EU countries, does allow for such a comparative analysis. On the basis of this data, the article takes a closer look at three core components of individual campaigns and their respective determinants: duration, intensity, and the use of different campaign tools. Our findings show that only a combination of factors on the individual, party, and country level is able to explain significant amounts of the observed variance in each of the core components.

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... One important dimension traditionally associated to electoral campaigns is the type of recruitment. According to the literature, decentralized modes of candidate selection are more likely to lead to more independent prospective MPs using a wider diversity of resources (Giebler and Wüst, 2011;Giebler and Wessels, 2013). Due to the lack of data on this issue for several countries in our dataset, this variable is measured through a proxy, namely the fact that the candidate held functions in the local party office (see Cross and Young, 2015). ...
... The candidates party membership record is also considered, since unaffiliated candidates or recent party members may display different patterns of campaigning vis-à-vis older members. We also control for the left-right orientation of candidates, considering the hypothesis that right-wing candidates are more likely to emphasize their own personalities than left-wing candidates (Giebler and Wüst, 2011). Gender is also an important factor, since men are more prone to personalized campaigns than women (Karlsen and Skogerbø, 2013). ...
... We also control for individual level factors by including in the multivariate analysis gender (there is evidence that women are less prone to personalization than men; e.g. Karlsen and Skogerbø, 2013), left-right self-positioning (left-wing politicians are usually less keen on personalized strategies, Giebler and Wüst, 2011), connection to the party (years as member) and connection to the constituency (whether the candidate has served in the local party headquarters). ...
Article
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Despite a great flourishing of studies on election campaigns, the issue of individualized campaigns has been widely neglected, especially from a comparative perspective. Yet, campaigns differ not only in terms of strategy or style, but also with regard to the role played by individual candidates. This article examines the variation of both the communicative focus and the resources used by candidates across different Western democracies. Using data from the Comparative Candidate Surveys (CCS), it tests the impact of several institutional and political features on campaign individualization. Our results show that both electoral systems and the legal framework regulating electoral contests display a significant impact on campaign individualization.
... There is already an extensive body of literature on candidates' campaign behaviour. It includes cross-national studies (e.g., Bowler and Farrell 2011;Giebler and Wessels 2013;Giebler and Wüst 2011;Sudulich and Trumm 2017), single country studies focusing on mixed member systems (e.g., Gschwend and Zittel 2015;Zittel 2009;Zittel and Gschwend 2008), and single country studies focusing on other electoral systems (e.g., De Winter and Baudewyns 2015; Fisher and Denver 2008). 14 Expected electoral success has been shown to positively influence campaign personalisation (e.g., De Winter and Baudewyns 2015; Sudulich and Trumm 2017;Zittel and Gschwend 2008), campaign intensity (e.g., Giebler and Wüst 2011;Sudulich and Trumm 2017), and campaign complexity (Sudulich and Trumm 2017). ...
... It includes cross-national studies (e.g., Bowler and Farrell 2011;Giebler and Wessels 2013;Giebler and Wüst 2011;Sudulich and Trumm 2017), single country studies focusing on mixed member systems (e.g., Gschwend and Zittel 2015;Zittel 2009;Zittel and Gschwend 2008), and single country studies focusing on other electoral systems (e.g., De Winter and Baudewyns 2015; Fisher and Denver 2008). 14 Expected electoral success has been shown to positively influence campaign personalisation (e.g., De Winter and Baudewyns 2015; Sudulich and Trumm 2017;Zittel and Gschwend 2008), campaign intensity (e.g., Giebler and Wüst 2011;Sudulich and Trumm 2017), and campaign complexity (Sudulich and Trumm 2017). 15 It is important to note that, given the data derive from a post-election survey, candidates were aware whether they had got elected or not when describing their electoral prospects before their campaign had started. ...
... 16 Existing evidence regarding the relevance of political experience in shaping campaign behaviour is somewhat mixed. Whereas the study by Giebler and Wüst (2011) finds political experience to positively shape candidates' campaign effort and the study by Sudulich and Trumm (2017) finds it to have a positive effect on both campaign effort and complexity, others have not found significant effects associated with political experience (Bowler and Farrell 2011;Giebler and Wessels 2013;Zittel and Gschwend 2008). 17 Estimates from models where Past AM is operationalised as incumbents (coded 1) versus challengers (coded 0) are robust to those presented here and available upon request. ...
Article
The conventional wisdom of electoral politics suggests that parliamentary candidates who run for office under candidate-centred mechanisms tend to conduct more intense and personalised campaigns than those who run under party-centred ones. But what about the campaigns put in place by candidates who simultaneously run under both systems? Using original data from the 2016 Welsh Candidate Study, this article shows that dual candidates' campaign behaviour is distinct from that of their constituency and regional list counterparts. Their campaign effort tends to be more intense as well as complex than that put in place by candidates who stand in one tier only. In addition, the findings show that dual candidates' campaign messages tend to be more personalised than those of regional list candidates, but less personalised than those of constituency candidates. These results indicate that the electoral campaigns put in place by dual candidates combine elements of campaigning under candidate-centred and party-centred electoral systems.
... Ohne diesen systematischen Unterschied im linearen Modell als Interaktionseffekt zu spezifizieren, würden wir solche interessanten Nichtlinearitäten nicht finden. Welche möglichen weiteren Interaktionen dabei vom künstlichen neuronalen Netz "entdeckt" werden, eröffnet Raum für weitergehende Forschung insbesondere zu Wiederwahl-und Einzugschancen von individuellen Kandidierenden, die in Verbindung mit entsprechenden individualisierten Kampagnenstrategien (Zittel und Gschwend 2007;Giebler und Wüst 2011;Gschwend und Zittel 2011) oder im Falle von Amtsinhabern in Verbindung zu parlamentarischem Verhalten (Gschwend und Zittel 2018) gebracht werden können (Zittel und Gschwend 2007;Giebler und Wüst 2011;Gschwend und Zittel 2011). ...
... Ohne diesen systematischen Unterschied im linearen Modell als Interaktionseffekt zu spezifizieren, würden wir solche interessanten Nichtlinearitäten nicht finden. Welche möglichen weiteren Interaktionen dabei vom künstlichen neuronalen Netz "entdeckt" werden, eröffnet Raum für weitergehende Forschung insbesondere zu Wiederwahl-und Einzugschancen von individuellen Kandidierenden, die in Verbindung mit entsprechenden individualisierten Kampagnenstrategien (Zittel und Gschwend 2007;Giebler und Wüst 2011;Gschwend und Zittel 2011) oder im Falle von Amtsinhabern in Verbindung zu parlamentarischem Verhalten (Gschwend und Zittel 2018) gebracht werden können (Zittel und Gschwend 2007;Giebler und Wüst 2011;Gschwend und Zittel 2011). ...
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Zusammenfassung Nahezu die Hälfte der Bundestagsmandate wird über die Direktwahl in den Wahlkreisen vergeben. Das bleibt in einem Großteil der Wahlprognosemodelle jedoch unberücksichtigt. In diesem Beitrag stellen wir einen Ansatz zur Vorhersage der Erststimmenanteile in Wahlkreisen für Bundestagswahlen vor. Dazu kombinieren wir das Zweitstimmenvorhersagemodell von zweitstimme.org mit zwei Erststimmenmodellen, einer linearen Regression und einem künstlichen neuronalen Netzwerk, welche Kandidierenden- und Wahlkreischarakteristika zur Vorhersage nutzen. Für unseren Ansatz sind alle verwendeten Daten vor der jeweiligen Wahl öffentlich verfügbar und somit für eine echte Vorhersage nutzbar. Das Modell kann so bei künftigen Wahlen wertvolle Informationen für Kandidierende und die interessierte Öffentlichkeit bereitstellen. Die Vorhersagen sind darüber hinaus auch für erklärende Forschung relevant: Mithilfe der resultierenden Gewinnwahrscheinlichkeiten lassen sich bessere Messinstrumente zur Charakterisierung der Kompetitivität eines Wahlkreises und der zu erwartenden Knappheit des Wahlkreisrennens erstellen, welche politisches Verhalten beeinflussen können. Zudem erlaubt die Vorhersage, empirische Aussagen zur zu erwartenden Größe des Bundestags sowie seiner personellen Zusammensetzung zu treffen.
... In a review on findings by Farah (1980: 191-192), Kaase (Kaase 1984: 163-164) concluded that … the initial expectations in designing the personalized proportional representation system (PR) with respect to citizen-deputy ties have certainly not materialized, despite obvious efforts by the deputies to establish firm roots in their constituencies. 1 If preference voting is possible, the campaign strategies of the list candidates are expected to be personalized because preference votes may be decisive for getting elected (Bowler, Farrell 2011;Giebler, Wüst 2011). ...
... Denver, Hands and MacAllister (2004: 291-292) constructed a campaign-intensity index based on the number of campaign workers involved, the extent of door-to-door and telephone canvassing, the number of leaflets delivered, the use of computers, and the organization of the campaign team. Not focussing on the effects of campaigns but on the determinants of campaign intensity and the use of specific means, Giebler and Wüst (2011) differentiated between duration, money, and time spent in order to measure intensity as well as the difference between classical and postmodern means and instruments. They showed that a broad set of factors ranging from systemic to party to individual-level characteristics impact campaign intensity and that there is no universal pattern predicting the different measures of intensity. ...
Conference Paper
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During the last decades, the context and supply-side of voting has undergone tremendous changes. One of the observed changes is “personalization of politics.” Individual candidates, their (perceived) individual characteristics, and their campaigns are assumed to have a growing impact on party choice whereas the relevance of parties is diminishing. Research has focused on the identification of these effects especially in the context of presidential elections and elections under majority rule. Obviously, it is much more difficult to identify causal mechanisms in proportional electoral systems because the ‘constituent-candidate’ linkage is less clear. An effective translation of this link has to take local campaigning into account. Candidates running in PR systems are also campaigning locally and the expected benefit is gaining votes for the party list by that personal campaigning. Hence, the local effects of such efforts have to be taken into account if the ‘personalization of politics’ hypothesis is to be tested efficiently. Front-runners might have an impact on individual vote choice but, at the same time, the effect of direct and local interactions with ‘rank and file’ candidates should not be underestimated. In this paper, we present some first insights on local campaigning effects by taking advantage of the mixed-electoral system of Germany, using candidate and cross-section data of the German Longitudinal Election Study 2009 (GLES). German voters cast two ballots, a personal vote for a candidate and a second vote for a party list. Thus, we ask for spill-over effects from local campaigning by district candidates on list votes. In other words: To which extent does direct contact with a candidate inform vote choice for the party? We take two routes elaborating the impact of local campaigning and individualization of campaigns on party voting. The first approach determines the impact of candidates’ characteristics, campaign activity, means, and style on parties’ success regarding state-wide list votes compared to vote shares in constituencies. A systematic co-variation between local candidates’ characteristics, campaign activities, and party list success controlled for success in constituencies would be an indication of spill-over effects. The second approach focuses on the impact of candidate characteristics and campaign efforts on list vote in a micro level model. The integration of both perspectives, i.e. aggregate outcomes and individual-level determinants, will allow for a solid test of the impact of local campaigning on the vote while avoiding the risk of ecological fallacy.
... Ohne diesen systematischen Unterschied im linearen Modell als Interaktionseffekt zu spezifizieren, würden wir solche interessanten Nichtlinearitäten nicht finden. Welche möglichen weiteren Interaktionen dabei vom künstlichen neuronalen Netz "entdeckt" werden, eröffnet Raum für weitergehende Forschung insbesondere zu Wiederwahl-und Einzugschancen von individuellen Kandidierenden, die in Verbindung mit entsprechenden individualisierten Kampagnenstrategien (Zittel und Gschwend 2007;Giebler und Wüst 2011;Gschwend und Zittel 2011) oder im Falle von Amtsinhabern in Verbindung zu parlamentarischem Verhalten (Gschwend und Zittel 2018) gebracht werden können (Zittel und Gschwend 2007;Giebler und Wüst 2011;Gschwend und Zittel 2011). ...
... Ohne diesen systematischen Unterschied im linearen Modell als Interaktionseffekt zu spezifizieren, würden wir solche interessanten Nichtlinearitäten nicht finden. Welche möglichen weiteren Interaktionen dabei vom künstlichen neuronalen Netz "entdeckt" werden, eröffnet Raum für weitergehende Forschung insbesondere zu Wiederwahl-und Einzugschancen von individuellen Kandidierenden, die in Verbindung mit entsprechenden individualisierten Kampagnenstrategien (Zittel und Gschwend 2007;Giebler und Wüst 2011;Gschwend und Zittel 2011) oder im Falle von Amtsinhabern in Verbindung zu parlamentarischem Verhalten (Gschwend und Zittel 2018) gebracht werden können (Zittel und Gschwend 2007;Giebler und Wüst 2011;Gschwend und Zittel 2011). ...
Article
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Almost half of the total seats in the German Bundestag are awarded through first-past-the post elections at the electoral-district level. However, many election forecasting models do not consider this. In this paper we present an approach to predicting the candidate-vote shares at the district level for the German Federal Elections. To that end, we combine the national-level election prediction model from zweitstimme.org with two district-level prediction models, a linear regression and an artificial neural network, that both use the same candidate and district characteristics for their predictions. All data in our approach are publicly available prior to the respective election; thus, our model yields real forecasts. The model is therefore able to provide valuable information to running candidates and the interested public in future elections. Moreover, our prediction results are also relevant for substantive research: with the aid of the resulting odds of winning, better measures can be created to characterize the competitiveness of an electoral district and the expected closeness of electoral-district elections, which can influence political behaviour. Furthermore, the prediction allows empirical statements to be made about the expected size of the Bundestag as well as the composition of its personnel.
... Las variables institucionales que generan efectos sobre la actividad en redes sociales de los políticos, se relacionan con factores normativos como el nivel de personalización y el vínculo distrital que incentivan las reglas de competencia electoral, así como el modelo de comunicación política que opera en determinada sociedad. En investigaciones aplicadas al contexto europeo (Giebler y Wüst, 2011;Lorenzo y Garmendia, 2016), se ha observado que aquellos sistemas cuyas reglas estimulan una competencia centrada en candidatos (mayoría relativa, voto trasferible o sistemas proporcionales con distritos que proveen de muchos asientos a la asamblea) incentivan más el uso de redes sociales que los formatos donde la competencia se concentra en los partidos (sistemas proporcionales de lista cerrada o con distritos de pocos asientos). En adición, Obholzer y Daniel (2016) encuentran que los legisladores de sistemas proporcionales que ocupan las posiciones más altas de las listas, tienen un mayor nivel de participación activa en redes, lo cual bien puede estar correlacionado con la variable individual de pertenecer a las altas jerarquías de sus partidos políticos. ...
... Un hallazgo consistente en la investigación, es que los legisladores que acceden a sus asientos tras vencer en elecciones competidas, hacen un uso más intensivo de redes sociales ya sea para legitimar su mandato, mantener vigentes sus grupos de apoyo activados en campaña, o consolidar nuevas bases para facilitar su reelección reelección, en caso de haberla. (Giebler y Wüst, 2011;Esterling et al., 2005). Si bien la evidencia no es aún contundente en cuanto a los efectos que producen el tamaño de los partidos y la condición de gobierno-oposición sobre la utilización de medios digitales por parte de los representantes, la hipótesis comúnmente postulada es que aquellos miembros de partidos pequeños -que tienen un acceso restringido a medios tradicionales así como limitaciones de recursos y acceso a la agenda mediática-, tienden a emplear las redes sociales para comunicar sus mensajes de posicionamiento político (Lilleker y Koc-Michalska, 2013). ...
Chapter
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Ante la complejidad que implica el ejercicio de la función representativa en las sociedades contemporáneas, uno de los mayores desafíos que los legisladores tienen frente a ellos, es labrarse una imagen personal mediante la cual puedan conectar con sus electores y ser identificados como agentes eficaces en la atención de demandas colectivas. Incluir las nuevas tecnologías de información en su repertorio comunicativo, es una estrategia que concede a los políticos ciertas ventajas. Postear una imagen, publicar un tuit o posicionarse sobre alguna discusión en línea, resulta más económico, más directo, menos restringido y más veloz que buscar inserciones en la prensa escrita, radio o televisión. Asimismo, las nuevas tecnologías comunicativas han abierto a candidatos y gobernantes, la posibilidad de obtener información de primera fuente para palpar el sentir ciudadano. Estas particularidades de la comunicación habilitadas por las redes digitales, han reconfigurado la forma en que candidatos, representantes y gobernantes construyen su imagen pública en el ejercicio de sus roles políticos.
... on the role of the electoral system, seniority within a party, executive positions, electoral vulnerability, gender, ideology, governing status, income, and more (André, Depauw and Beyens, 2015;Benedetto and Hix, 2007;Gschwend and Zittel, 2015;Kirkland and Slapin, 2018;Mai, 2020;Olivella and Tavits, 2014;Zittel and Nyhuis, 2021). The results of these studies are quite mixed as to what actually influences MP behavior-in particular for the role of the electoral system and the constraints it puts on MP behavior (Carty, Eagles and Sayers, 2003;Chiru, 2015;De Winter and Baudewyns, 2015;Eder, Jenny and Müller, 2015;Giebler and Wüst, 2011;Olivella and Tavits, 2014;Zittel and Gschwend, 2008;Zittel and Nyhuis, 2021). These debates focus on whether the electoral system influences MP behavior, which MPs it is likely to influence, and how it influences MP behavior. ...
Thesis
How can we best measure and study issues related to political parties, and how can we break the parties as unitary actors assumption to study the level of the individual MP? Most work in comparative party politics has analyzed the party as the unit of analysis, but I challenge this assumption to look at the role of individual voters and MPs in the world of European party politics. I start with understanding how voter perceptions of a party's strategy influence vote choice, which shows the need to study the individual. Using the case of the 2015 UK General Election, I argue that voters decide between the Conservative Party and UKIP based on where they perceive the Conservative Party is on immigration, drawing on spatial theories at the party level from Downs (1957) and Meguid (2008). I find that regardless of attitudes towards immigration or the EU, voters who think the Conservative Party will not reduce immigration are more likely to vote for UKIP than those who perceive the Conservative Party will reduce immigration. The next question is how can researchers measure individual MP behavior? Existing approaches use roll call votes, debates, and surveys- though these data sources have their potential flaws. I instead propose using social media data, which are accessible for the vast majority of MPs, are available over time, and are without any major differences by country (except language). Analyzing social media activity from MPs in France, Germany, and the UK, I argue that social media usage varies by geographic context, demographic characteristics, and content of interest. I demonstrate why choice in social media data platform is important by replicating research from Sältzer (2020), who uses Twitter data, with Facebook data. This paper sets guidelines on how to use social media data when studying party politics. My last paper studies the behavioral impact of institutional constraints using Facebook data. I investigate behavioral differences between MPs elected via SMD and PR in Germany, which has a mixed member proportional system where one can observe two different electoral systems under one context. First, I demonstrate using machine learning classifiers that there is a distinguishable difference between posts from SMD and PR MPs. I then show that there is a difference in how often SMD and PR MPs reference parties, meaning that PR MPs are more party oriented as they communicate with their constituents. Together, these three papers contribute a new dataset with years of social media data of MPs from multiple countries and platforms with guidelines on how to responsibly use these data. I also substantively contribute to the party competition, institutions, and intra-party literatures.
... Effective political representation and accountability is the primary function of elections (Powell, 2000). News attention to EU actors can be seen as facilitating dissemination of information about policy proposals, performance and personalities and therefore make vote choices more meaningful (Giebler & Wüst, 2011). We know from previous research that EU actors are largely absent from news coverage. ...
Article
Previous research has characterized European news coverage as mainly domestic in focus, hampering the emergence of a European public sphere. This study analyses the European nature of the news coverage of the 2009 European Parliamentary elections. We not only describe the level of Europeanness in news coverage but also propose a compre - hensive model to explain differences across countries. We employ a cross-national media content analysis (N=52.009) conducted in all 27 EU member states. Findings show that especially public TV channels and broadsheet newspapers are more European in coverage than their private and tabloid counterparts. Newspapers are also more European in focus in general compared to television. Furthermore, coverage is more European in countries with higher public EU support, the coverage gets more European during the campaign and is more European in countries that are geographically closer to Brussels, and in which no other elections take place at the same time.
... According to Bailer (2014) (Scully, Hix and Farrell 2012) provides data on individual members of the European Parliament, while PartiRep surveys national and regional legislators in 15 advanced democracies (Deschouwer and Depauw 2014). 5 Rather than focusing only on elected representatives, the EECS which is included in the PIREDEU project (Giebler and Wüst 2011) and the CCS have collected data about candidates running for European and national parliamentary elections, respectively. An overview of the most recent elite surveys covering Italian politicians is provided in Table 2, which shows that the response rate we achieved is higher or at least comparable to other projects of similar scope. ...
Article
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Introduzione Changes in electoral politics in contemporary democracies have contributed to shifting the focus of research from parties to individual candidates. The 2013 Italian Candidate Survey (ICS) has collected original survey data with the aim of gaining new insights into the role of political elites, looking in particular at the candidates running for office in the last Italian general election. Based on interviews with individual candidates, the ICS provides a tool for analysing party members; and for comparing them with voters in several ways. In this paper, we spell out the main features of our research that was conducted within the framework of a larger project that examined political representation in Italy between 2013 and 2015. Moreover, we offer three examples of potential applications of ICS data. First, we present a model of political representation favoured by Italian candidates that matches with a well-known typology of political representation. Second, we utilize our ICS data to estimate candidates’ policy preferences and to assess the level of congruence with their voters. Finally, by comparing the distribution of candidates’ self-placements and their own party mean position on the left-right scale, we show how our data can be used to explore intra-party cohesion.
... Effective political representation and accountability is the primary function of elections (Powell, 2000). The question here is whether EU representatives receive the attention in the news that would facilitate dissemination of information about policy proposals, performance and personalities and therefore make vote choices more meaningful (see also Giebler and Wüst, 2011). ...
Article
In this article we analyse the news coverage of the 2009 EP elections in all 27 EU member states (N = 52,009). We propose that the extent to which these second-order elections are salient to the media depends on political parties contesting the elections. Consistent with expectations, the findings suggest that the saliency of EP elections is increasing and that the degree of political contestation over Europe contributes to this development in a non-linear fashion so that only when contestation develops beyond a certain point, does media coverage increase.
... 2. Coded on a three-point index, where 3 represents national or regional list leaders of viable parties, 2 represents seats projected to be 'safely' elected, 1 represents Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) from countries with purely preferential/unordered lists, and 0 represents 'unsafe' MEPs that are not projected to win an election. The coding scheme replicates Obholzer and Daniel (2016) and follows recommendations by Giebler and Wüst (2011 6. We explored a number of possible composition effects that may have driven this non-result. ...
Article
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This article draws upon the literature on comparative political institutions in order to re-examine the logic of Twitter usage during campaign periods, now that social media has become a standard tool that is used across the political spectrum. We test how electoral institutions and individual characteristics shaped Twitter activity during the 2019 European elections cycle and compare the nature of this usage with the previous 2014 campaign. Our findings allow for an evaluation of social media campaigning against the backdrop of its dynamic evolution, while also confirming its normalisation in the European elections’ revival of the Spitzenkandidat process. Rather than seeking to differentiate themselves from party-internal and external competitors or highlighting their own qualities, our findings suggest that Members of the European Parliament used Twitter in 2019 to emphasise the lead candidate that they have in common.
... These parties tend to rely on obtaining political positions at the EU level to compensate for their marginalisation from domestic offices (Petithomme, 2012). In order to be effective, though, campaigns need to be more intense (Giebler & Wüst, 2011). In parallel, social media is claimed to primarily aid peripheral political players (Larsson & Moe, 2014). ...
Article
EP elections are widely regarded as the archetypal second-order national election. Although parties’ strategic moves are frequently mediated by traditional media, parties are increasingly using alternative communication strategies, as social media, to communicate directly to their electorate. Social media can be particularly relevant in ‘bridging the gap’ with voters in second-order elections. After 2014, EP elections took place in a context where policy had been, to a non-negligible extent, perceived to have been shaped at the European level. The extent to which Eurozone crisis ‘disrupted’ the second-order model requires further examination. Through the analysis of the activities of political parties in social media, this study seeks to assess the extent to which the Eurozone crisis triggered more intense campaigns while assessing the partisan variables that explain variation in parties’ levels of activities. Overall, social media activity tends to suggest the resilience of the second-order model. This article highlights that the economic downturn has very much forced European issues into the political agendas, unveiling important signs of a disruption of the second-order model. Also, the politicisation of Europe in the first elections after the Eurozone crises (2019) was characterised by higher levels of activities of parties that openly contested the EU.
Article
The second-order character of past European elections is a well-established hypothesis with respect to voter turnout and voting behaviour. This paper presents a conceptual framework for testing this hypothesis on the supply side of European elections. It includes three groups of indicators allowing for the comparison of national and European election manifestos to determine the latter's second-order nature: (1) resource allocation, measured by the number of actors involved in manifesto adoption and by the manifestos' length; (2) the manifestos' content, comparing issue congruence and framing; and (3) political competition, measured by the ideological distance between manifestos. Building on this, we analyse the manifestos of all relevant German parties in the 2009 European and national elections using Comparative Manifesto Project data as well as original, self-created data on election manifestos. We find major variations between parties which can neither be explained by government participation nor satisfaction with the European Union.
Article
Personalization of politics is a major topic in discussions about elections and electoral behavior. Does the personalization of politics imply an individualization of campaigning as well? Up to now, this question has not been sufficiently dealt with. On basis of the 2009 European Election Candidate Study carried out in all 27 member countries of the EU, three main research questions are addressed: (1) Are there significant differences with regard to candidate- and party-centered campaign strategies between countries or party families? (2) Which factors account for such differences? (3) Do preferences for a campaign strategy have consequences for campaign efforts of candidates and the means they use? Results show that the dominant feature is party-centered campaigning, but close to one-fifth of the candidates prefer candidate-centered campaigning. A number of hypotheses are tested with a multi-level model showing that candidates react to electoral and institutional incentives. It is a strategic choice to go for a more personalized campaign. This choice has consequences for campaign efforts and means used.
Chapter
Ausgehend von einem Dreieck wechselseitiger Abhängigkeiten zur Mobilisation in Europawahlkämpfen, sichtet dieser Beitrag die neuere kommunikationswissenschaftliche Forschung zu den Kampagnen, der Medienberichterstattung und ihrer Resonanz bei der Wählerschaft. Der Überblick fokussiert auf die international vergleichenden Studien, für die Europawahlen aufgrund ihrer besonderen Konstellation eine einzigartige Gelegenheit bieten. In der Bilanz zeigt sich, dass das Interesse der Forschung zu Europawahlen deutlich gewachsen ist, Fragestellungen und methodisches Vorgehen sind jedoch heterogen, sodass nur bedingt allgemeine Schlüsse über das Zusammenwirken der verschiedenen Einfluss nehmenden Faktoren zu ziehen sind.
Chapter
Im Verlauf von Wahlkämpfen spielen nicht nur Parteien und die Massenmedien eine entscheidende Rolle für Erfolg und Misserfolg, sondern auch individuelle Kandidatinnen und deren persönliche Kampagnenaktivitäten. Bislang haben in erster Linie Spitzen- oder Präsidentschaftskandidatinnen im Fokus wissenschaftlicher Analysen gestanden (vgl. Hacker 1995; Campbell 2000; Filzmaier/Plasser 2001; Brettschneider 2002), aber auch Personen, die ‚nur‛ um Stimmen und in der Folge Sitze im Parlament kämpfen, spielen eine wichtige Rolle für den Wahlausgang. Eben jene Individuen – und weniger die Parteien an sich – geben Informationen an potentielle Wähler weiter, diskutieren konkret über inhaltliche Fragen und (re-)etablieren die Verbindung zwischen Wählerschaft und Parteien. Bei Europawahlen, die allgemein als nationale Nebenwahlen charakterisiert werden (vgl. Reif/Schmitt 1980), könnte diese Rolle von besonders großer Relevanz sein. Europawahlkampagnen werden als generell wenig intensiv beschrieben (vgl. Cayrol 1991) und auch die Medienaufmerksamkeit ist eher gering (vgl. Maier/Tenscher 2006; de Vreese et al. 2007). Die Aktivitäten der Kandidatinnen könnten daher zu einer stärkeren Politisierung der EU, vor allem mit Blick auf Europawahlen, beitragen. Leider liegen bislang kaum komparative Studien über individuelle Wahlkämpfe bei Europawahlen vor, so dass wir über diese relevante Komponente des Wahlprozesses wenig aussagen können. Mit dem vorliegenden Beitrag soll etwas Licht ins Dunkel individueller Europawahlkämpfe gebracht werden.
Article
This paper explores the effectiveness of European Parliament candidates' campaigns. We analyze the relationship between candidates' spending and their likelihood of success, controlling for a range of relevant co-varying factors. We then investigate whether the effects of electoral spending are conditioned by two variables: ballot design and incumbency. We find that, ceteris paribus, spending was positively related to a candidate's likelihood of electoral success in the 2009 campaign, though this effect is small in scale. We also reveal that the electorally positive effects of spending are observable across both 'party-centered' and ‘candidate-centered’ ballot structures, and that there is some evidence that incumbent spending is less effective than challenger spending.
Book
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This eBook contains some of the first fruits of a large collaborative project funded by the EU’s DG Research under their FP7 Programme: an “infrastructure design study” whose ultimate goal is “Providing an Infrastructure for Research on Electoral Democracy in the European Union” – a title that gives rise to the unlovely acronym PIREDEU, used repeatedly in the pages of the book. The design study was complemented by a feasibility study conducted in the context of the 2009 elections to the European Parliament. While somewhat restricted in breadth of coverage (for example the numbers of questions asked in voter and candidate surveys were limited by available funds) this was still a fully-fledged election study that included all the component parts needed to address fundamental questions regarding the quality of democracy in the European Union at the time of elections to the European Parliament. It included five of these components. A voter study sought to interview about 1,000 respondents in each of the 27 EU member countries, using essentially the same questionnaire in all countries; A candidate study sought to interview all candidates with any viable chance of actually gaining a seat in the European Parliament; A media study content-analyzed newspapers, television channels and radio stations during a three-week period leading up to the elections; A manifesto study coded all the campaign platforms published by parties seeking representation in the European Parliament; A contextual data study sought to collect all relevant statistical information regarding the outcome of the election in each of the 27 participating countries. This book contains fifteen chapters showcasing the research opportunities provided by these data.
Article
[PAPER IS AVAILABLE IN AN OPEN ACCESS VERSION HERE: https://www.econstor.eu/handle/10419/157386 .] In contrast to national elections, both parties and voters are assumed to think that ‘less is at stake’ in European elections: Campaigns are less intense, turnout is lower, and citizens are more inclined to ‘vote with their hearts’. The latter should be reflected in differing rationales of voting – party choice should not be based on identical determinants in national and European elections. However, this hypothesis has not been sufficiently tested and most of the research is based on the analysis of aggregated data while causal explanations are located on the micro level. This paper compares vote functions of individuals in regard to the 2009 European Parliament election as well as the 2009 German Federal election. Using data from the German Longitudinal Election Study (GLES), comparison of explanatory models shows that party choice on both levels is neither fundamentally different nor does it fit into the pattern of second-order electoral behaviour.
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Free Full Text Available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/FnQZZF52zIK9jrEpgEjc/full The elections that took place in Greece and Portugal before and after the intervention of the so-called Troika allow us to examine to what extent the austerity period has affected the nature and style of electoral campaigns, especially in terms of individualisation. Our results show that campaigns in Greece and Portugal were quite different and that Greek candidates supported by the two main parties are more likely to emphasise their role. Yet the short-term impact of the crisis has been negligible, as there have been insignificant shifts in the communicative focus on the personalisation of the agendas and on the means used in the campaign after the intervention of the Troika.
Article
The literature on post-communist democracies has traditionally suggested that organisational strength is considerably less important for electoral success than extensive media-based campaigns. Recent studies on party-level electoral dynamics, however, indicate that this might not be the case any longer. Building on these insights, this study goes beyond the party-level analyses of electoral success and failure by focusing on the electoral fortunes of individual candidates in a post-communist democracy. Using original data from the 2011 Estonian Candidate Survey, this article looks at the comparative impact of candidates’ campaign spending and the strength of their local party organisation, alongside other potentially relevant characteristics, on their likelihood of getting elected and vote share. The findings suggest that candidates’ electoral performance in Estonia is still first and foremost shaped by their own campaign spending. In addition, I find evidence that candidates fare better if they have prior local-level and national-level political experience, conduct more personalised campaigns, and are positioned higher up on their party’s district-level list.
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This article investigates the impact of pan-European candidates in European Parliament election campaigns. It focusses on the two 2019 nominees for the European Greens, who were Dutch and German, respectively. We conducted a pre-registered experiment in the Netherlands and Germany in early April 2019 to test the effects of (non-)personalized campaign posters on (a) turnout intention and (b) vote intention for the Greens alongside possible mediating effects of campaign and candidate evaluations. Our results suggest that while personalized campaigns as opposed to non-personalized campaigns may not matter per se for turnout and vote intention, individual candidates can make a difference in European elections, particularly with respect to vote intention. As such, the results have important implications for our understanding of European Parliament election campaigns.
Article
Niche parties in European countries have struggled to win seats in national legislatures. Accounts of niche party development describe how attempts to win these seats often begin with second-order election campaigns for the European Parliament (EP) or a regional assembly. Strong second-order campaigns can signal that a party is locally competitive, which will help niche parties by reducing defections due to strategic voting in later first-order elections. In this paper, I argue that according to such accounts, improvements in second-order election results should be correlated with subsequent improvements in first-order election results in any given constituency. I also argue that the magnitude of this correlation can be compared across different types of second-order elections, to gauge how credible voters perceive these second-order signals of local viability to be. I find that only regional assembly election results, not EP election results, are consistently and statistically significantly correlated with national election results. This suggests that niche parties can only build their support through bottom-up rather than top-down means, and that EP election results cannot be used to predict how niche parties will perform at national elections.
Article
Political parties and candidates have not been immune to the changes that the Internet and social media have introduced in electoral campaigns. Yet, as the use of digital media by political elites is becoming a norm in the United States, in Europe, the decision to develop an online presence depends on the cross-national differences regarding candidates’ constraints and incentives. European Parliament elections present an exceptional comparative opportunity to measure this potential diversity. Using an original database on the online presence of more than 5000 candidates competing under the label of incumbent parties in 2014, we demonstrate that there are two relevant groups of nonadopters, and that candidates’ online campaign intensity varies significantly depending on incumbency and the ballot structure in their countries.
Chapter
Campaigning has evolved over time, especially with the emergence of e-campaigning. While the use of internet and communication technologies (ICTs) in politics has become a popular topic in the current literature on electoral campaigning, it remains unclear what pushes a candidate to use one tool rather than another. This chapter has two main goals, first to scrutinise the use of campaigning tools by the candidates of the 2014 electoral campaign, and secondly, to investigate to what extent the candidate determines the use of one campaigning method rather than the other. By doing so, we aim at tackling the various strategies deployed by candidates to communicate to the electorate during the campaign—while taking into account party norms and contextual factors that may shape these strategies.
Article
This article analyses the impact of electoral institutions on the re-election campaigning and outreach strategies of Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) on the Twitter social media platform. Social media offers politicians a means to contact voters remotely and at low cost. We test the effect of diverse national proportional representation electoral institutions in European elections on a possible online electoral connection. We draw upon an original dataset of MEP Twitter activity before, during, and after the 2014 European elections. Our results confirm that variation in electoral institutions leads to meaningful differentiation in MEP social media campaigning, which is further affected by national party, voter and MEP characteristics. MEPs make constructive use of Twitter, but there is no sustained online electoral connection.
Chapter
Die Zeit rund um die Bundestagswahlen am 27. September 2013 und die Wahlen zum Europäischen Parlament am 25. Mai 2014 kann als recht wahlintensiv beschrieben werden. Nur die Landtagswahlen berücksichtigend, fanden sechs Landtagswahlkämpfe statt. (Folgende Landtagswahlen fanden statt: 20. Januar 2013 in Niedersachsen, 15. September 2013 in Bayern, 22. September 2013 in Hessen, 31. August 2014 in Sachsen, 14. September 2014 in Brandenburg und in Thüringen.) Damit war zwar bei weitem nicht eine Dichtheit an Wahlkämpfen wie im Superwahljahr 2009 (vgl. Tenscher 2011, S. 7f.) gegeben, trotzdem versetzt eine solche Häufung von Wahlen auf unterschiedlichen politischen Ebenen die Parteien quasi in einen Dauerwahlkampf.
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In den letzten Jahren stehen individuelle Wahlkampagnen immer mehr im Fokus der Forschung. Dieser Beitrag präsentiert ein Analyseraster zur Beschreibung der Qualitäten dieser Wahlkampagnen, genauer bezogen auf Dauer, Intensität, Instrumente und Inhalte. Im empirischen Teil werden auf dieser Grundlage individuelle Wahlkampagnen bei der Bundestagswahl 2013 sowie der Europawahl 2014 in Deutschland verglichen und untersucht, inwiefern systematische Unterschiede durch Faktoren auf der Makro- (Wahlebene), Meso- (Parteizugehörigkeit) oder Mikroebene (Wahlerfolgschance) entstehen. Parteizugehörigkeit spielt lediglich für eine Unterscheidung zwischen der AfD und den etablierten Parteien eine Rolle, während Wahlebene und Erfolgschance in starkem Ausmaß Dauer und Intensität der Kampagnen bestimmen.
Article
[The paper can be accessed here: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/Zf3wybRSgG6ZX2825FKp/full] For the personal vote to be cast in a meaningful way it is a minimal condition that voters recognise candidates. However, from earlier studies we know that there is huge variation in the number of candidates recognised. Little to nothing is known about candidate recognition and its determinants. This study explores the sources of candidate recognition from three different angles: candidates; citizens; and context. Furthermore, it enables the distinction of campaign-related from other factors. A unique multi-level within-subject design was set up for the analyses of the 2013 German Federal Election to ensure a meaningful validation of our theoretical framework. Our results suggest that, indeed, many factors lead to recognition but as well that earlier studies overestimated the effects of political interest or incumbency status. Moreover, we show that a good campaign makes a difference for recognition – as does the context in which it takes place.
Article
The internet has become a key battleground for political parties and candidates running for office. Using data from three consecutive parliamentary elections in Estonia, spanning across the last decade, we map the extent to which candidates make use of online campaign tools. The availability of candidate survey data over time enables us to evaluate how online campaigning has evolved in a country at the forefront of digitalization. Our findings show that, despite a highly wired context, candidates still do not exploit the internet to its full potential. We observe a significant increment in candidates’ presence on the web, but the effort remains limited in terms of the range of digital campaign tools used. In addition, we find that candidates’ political profile has a limited influence on their digital proclivity, while young age and intensity of their overall campaign effort are stable predictors of it across the decade.
Book
Wahlkämpfe gelten als unverzichtbare Spielwiesen der Demokratie und als Hochzeiten politischer Kommunikation. In ihnen verdichten sich in periodisch wiederkehrenden Abständen die routinemäßig ablaufenden Interaktionen zwischen Parteien, Massenmedien und WählerInnen. Eine Veränderung erfahren diese Austauschprozesse durch das zeitlich befristete Hinzukommen von politischer Werbung und wahlkampfspezifischen Kommunikationsereignissen wie TV-Duellen. Die Beiträge dieses Bandes widmen sich den vergangenen Bundestags-, Europa- und Landtagswahlkämpfen in Deutschland in konsequent vergleichender Perspektive. Zum einen handelt es sich um Zeitvergleiche, die Veränderungen der Wahlkampfkommunikation überprüfen. Zum anderen werden die Wahlkampfkommunikation und deren Wirkungen, wie sie sich auf verschiedenen politischen Ebenen realisieren, in Bezug zueinander gesetzt. Dadurch wird die populäre Annahme, Haupt- und Nebenwahlkämpfe würden von Parteien, Massenmedien und WählerInnen unterschiedlich angegangen werden, auf den empirischen Prüfstand gestellt.
Article
A long tradition of studies in political science has unveiled the effects of electoral institutions on party systems and parliamentary representation. Yet their effects on campaign activities remain overlooked. Research in this tradition still lacks a strong comparative element able to explore the nuanced role of electoral institutions in shaping individual-level campaigns during first-order parliamentary elections. This study uses data from a variety of national candidate studies to address this lacuna , and shows that the structure of electoral institutions affects the electoral mobilization efforts put in place by candidates. Candidate-centred electoral systems incentivize more intense and complex mobilization efforts, and shift the campaign focus towards individuals rather than parties. By directly addressing the effects of electoral institutions on campaign behaviour, this study contributes to the wider debate on their role in promoting political engagement and mobilization. These results indicate that electoral institutions affect political competition much more than previously thought.
Chapter
In unserem Beitrag untersuchen wir, inwieweit die in den Medien vorhandenen Informationen über eine Partei die Effekte der Charakteristika der Individuen auf Einschätzungen von Parteipositionen beeinflussen. Konkret prüfen wir, inwiefern Zeitungs- und Fernsehberichte über europäische Themen Individuen unter Berücksichtigung ihrer Charakteristika helfen, Einschätzungen über die Positionen der Parteien zur Europäischen Integration zu entwickeln. Die Datengrundlage der komparativen Analyse bildet dabei die Europäische Wahlstudie 2009 (PIREDEU). Medieninformationen spielen tatsächlich eine wichtige Rolle. Sie tragen dazu bei, eine der Grundbedingungen der repräsentativen Demokratie herzustellen, nämlich die Kenntnis über Parteipositionen, um in der Folge sinnvolle Wahlentscheidungen zu ermöglichen.
Article
This article analyses what makes political candidates run a party-focused or personalised election campaign. Prior work shows that candidates face incentives from voters and the media to personalise their campaign rhetoric and promises at the expense of party policy. This has raised concerns about the capacity of parties to govern effectively and voters’ ability to hold individual politicians accountable. This article builds on the literature on party organisation and considers the possible constraints candidates face from their party in personalising their election campaigns. Specifically, it is argued that party control over the candidate nomination process and campaign financing constrains most political candidates in following electoral incentives for campaign personalisation. Using candidate survey data from the 2009 EP election campaign in 27 countries, the article shows how candidates from parties in which party officials exerted greater control over the nomination process and campaign finances were less likely to engage in personalised campaigning at the expense of the party programme. The findings imply that most parties, as central gatekeepers and resource suppliers, hold important control mechanisms for countering the electoral pressure for personalisation and advance our understanding of the incentives and constraints candidates face when communicating with voters. The article discusses how recent democratic reforms, paradoxically, might induce candidate personalisation with potential negative democratic consequences.
Chapter
Die Personalisierung wird als ein wesentlicher Teil der Professionalisierung politischer Kommunikation wahrgenommen. Dieser Beitrag untersucht das Ausmaß, vor allem aber die Art der Präsentation von Personen im NRW-Landtagswahlkampf 2017. Dazu verwenden die Autorinnen ein ikonographisches Verfahren, anhand dessen sie ausgewählte Wahlplakate von SPD, CDU, Grüne, FDP, Die Linke und der AfD untersuchen. Aufgrund ihrer Ergebnisse konstatieren die Autorinnen, dass die Personalisierung im Wahlkampf nur für einige Parteien gegeben scheint. Hinzu kommt, dass üblicherweise mit der Personalisierung verknüpfte Folgen wie die Entideologisierung und Privatisierung politischer Kommunikation nur in Ansätzen zu bestätigen ist.
Article
Constituency campaigns are multidimensional and complex: parties and candidates are deeply entangled, and, at least in mixed-member electoral systems, local constituency campaigns are embedded within national party campaigns. Recent discussions have focused on aspects of campaign change in European democracies, especially disentanglement in terms of individualisation, personalisation, and/or localisation. This study contributes to the discussion both conceptually and empirically. Conceptually, three dimensions (‘faces’) of constituency campaigns are differentiated: organisational partyness, vertical integration, and communicative personalisation. This threefold differentiation allows for a more precise analysis of campaign patterns by differentiating party–candidate (organisation, communication) and intra-party (vertical integration) aspects. Constituency campaigns in the 2005, 2009, and 2013 German federal elections are empirically examined. The analysis explains why candidates decide for one or another campaign pattern. These three faces are empirically distinct as well. Furthermore, we argue that parties remain vital for the organisation of campaigns despite a decline in centralisation. Addressing the communicative face, the analysis shows that candidate-related issues are important, but a mix of party- and candidate-related communication gains importance.
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Personalized campaign styles are of increasing importance in contemporary election campaigns at all levels of politics. Surprisingly, we know little about their implications for the behavior of successful candidates once they take public office. This paper aims to fill this gap in empirical and theoretical ways. It shows that campaign personalization results in legislative personalization. Legislators that ran personalized campaigns are found to be more likely to deviate in roll call votes and to take independent positions on the floor. These findings result from a novel dataset that matches survey evidence on candidates’ campaign styles in the 2009 German Federal Elections with the legislative behavior of successful candidates in the 17th German Bundestag (2009–2013). Combining data from the campaign and legislative arenas allows us to explore the wider consequences of campaign personalization.
Article
The literature on post-communist democracies has traditionally suggested that organisational strength is considerably less important for electoral success than extensive media-based campaigns. Recent studies on party-level electoral dynamics, however, indicate that this might not be the case any longer. Building on these insights, this study goes beyond the party-level analyses of electoral success and failure by focusing on the electoral fortunes of individual candidates in a post-communist democracy. Using original data from the 2011 Estonian Candidate Survey, this paper looks at the comparative impact of candidates’ campaign spending and the strength of their local party organisation, alongside other potentially relevant characteristics, on their likelihood of getting elected and vote share. The findings suggest that candidates’ electoral performance in Estonia is still first and foremost shaped by their own campaign spending. In addition, I find evidence that candidates fare better if they have prior local-level and national-level political experience, conduct more personalised campaigns, and are positioned higher up on their party’s district-level list.
Chapter
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In June 1999, European Parliamentary elections were held for the fifth time in 20 years. One would have thought that after two decades of voting experience at the European level, voter acceptance for the institution would take hold in the countries that had participated in the European construction since its very inception. We now know that this did not happen: Electoral turnout has never been so low despite a priori favorable conditions such as the well-publicized inauguration of the euro zone or the implementation of the Amsterdam Treaty. The current situation is paradoxical in that the European Parliament is in a period of expanding power following the Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties and the demission of the European Commission soon after the March 1999 crisis; moreover, it is a unique European institution, having its legitimacy based on universal suffrage. However, the Parliament has only been able to provoke a weakening voter turnout.
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Constituency campaigns are important phenomena for students of political parties, voting behaviour as well as political communication. These research communities perceive constituency campaigns as parts of centralised high-tech campaigns aiming in strategic ways at the efficient mobilisation of voters. We propose in this paper an alternative understanding of constituency campaigns using the case of the German parliamentary elections in 2005 to empirically test this understanding. We perceive constituency campaigns as phenomena signalling a relative independence of individual candidates from the national party campaign. We label this phenomenon individualised campaigning. We argue that individualised campaigning is driven among others by electoral incentives. We test this hypothesis with regard to the German mixed-member electoral system and on the basis of a survey of all candidates standing for election in 2005.
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Based on the content of European Election manifestos, the article shows that parties play an important role in presenting to the people a European view on issues, in discussing transnational and the core EU issues and in offering the voters different choices on the EU and European integration. While there is a greater variance of party positions on the left–right dimension than on the pro-/anti-EU dimension, most party systems nevertheless provide good choice options on the EU dimension as well. Compared to the ‘old EU’, party systems in the accession countries offer a greater variance in programmatic pro-anti-EU positions.
Book
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List of tables List of figures Preface Part I. The News Media and Civic Malaise: 1. The news media and democracy 2. Evaluating media performance 3. Understanding political communications Part II. Trends in Political Communication: 4. The decline of newspapers? 5. The rise (and fall?) of the television age 6. The emerging internet era 7. The evolution of campaign communications 8. The rise of the post-modern campaign? Part III. The Impact on Democracy: 9. Negative news, negative public? 10. Knows little? Information and choice 11. Cares less? Cynical media, cynical public? 12. Stays home? Political mobilization 13. American exceptionalism? 14. A virtuous circle? Technical appendix Notes Select bibliography Author index Subject index.
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Electoral campaigns are conducted by parties and candidates to convince the people to turn out to vote and to vote for them instead of voting for a competitor. In parliamentary democracies, and especially in those that apply electoral systems of proportional representation with closed party lists, parties and their top candidates for prime minister or for chancellor are considered to be the main actors in campaigns. Consequently, electoral campaigns are primarily party campaigns which are neither won nor lost by any 'average' candidate. Parties structure the electoral competition by collectively emphasising certain issues and by presenting a rather cohesive ideological perspective in a campaign. Further, candidates and elected MPs are first and foremost representatives of their parties with very limited personal room for political manoeuvre. While this assessment is not challenged in principle, we argue that it cuts too short. In addition to parties, candidates play important roles in electoral campaigns, and due to the modernisation of parties and campaigns, we expect a substantial degree of personalised campaigning which is likely to increase in the future. Given the particular mixed-member electoral system used to elect the German Bundestag, we are able to differentiate the campaign of pure constituency candidates, pure list candidates and the most frequent hybrids who ran for office both in a constituency and on a party list in 2005.
Article
This article is a comparative analysis of British and American parties and candidate election campaigning on the World Wide Web during the Presidential and General Elections of 2000 and 2001, respectively. The central questions are twofold: (1) Do parties differ across the two systems in terms of how they use the Web as a campaign tool? (2) Does the Web promote a more balanced or equalized exposure for party messages than other media? A combination of interview data, content analysis of sites and analysis of online and offline media coverage of the election is used to investigate these questions. Conclusions are drawn about the similarity of Web campaigning across the two countries and about the increasing dominance of the major parties, particularly in the UK.
Book
A systematic study of American presidential elections. It presents the Theory of the Predictable Campaign, explaining campaign effects as substantially the playing out of the fundamentals place before the campaign gets underway. Campaign effects are constrained by the stable context in which they take place (e.g., partisanship, known candidates and issues), but they have significant effects within these constraints. The systematic effects of campaigns are a function of the variable fundamentals: presidential incumbency, economic conditions, and the early levels of party unity. In addition, campaigns also effect the vote through their competitiveness (the narrowing effect). Beyond the systematic effects of campaigns there are also generally small, but sometimes decisive, unsystematic or unanticipatable effects of campaigns.
Article
Reporting data and predicting trends through the 2008 campaign, this classroom-tested volume offers again James E. Campbell's "theory of the predictable campaign," incorporating the fundamental conditions that systematically affect the presidential vote: political competition, presidential incumbency, and election-year economic conditions. Campbell's cogent thinking and clear style present students with a readable survey of presidential elections and political scientists' ways of studying them. The American Campaign also shows how and why journalists have mistakenly assigned a pattern of unpredictability and critical significance to the vagaries of individual campaigns. This excellent election-year text provides: a summary and assessment of each of the serious predictive models of presidential election outcomes; a historical summary of many of America's important presidential elections; a significant new contribution to the understanding of presidential campaigns and how they matter.
Article
The idea that turnout responds to levels of public esteem for democratic institutions is deep seated and recurrent. Though it has been argued (Franklin 1999, 2004; Franklin, van der Eijk, and Oppenhuis 1996) that turnout reflects nothing of the sort-certainly not unless one first controls for other factors more immediately responsible for turnout levels-this argument has evidently not been widely heard. The significant drop in turnout registered at the fifth elections to the European Parliament conducted in all the member countries of the European Union in June 1999 provided an opportunity for commentators and politicians to point to those elections as demonstrating a supposedly low and declining level of support for European institutions (never mind that previous research had found little evidence that turnout in such elections was driven by attitudes to Europe-see chapter 8 of this volume). Much was made of the fact, evident in table 1.1, that these elections represented the fourth successive occasion upon which turnout at European elections had fallen, and that the rate of decline (whether we look at the weighted or unweighted averages) appeared to be accelerating.
Book
Comprehensive comparative analysis of EU referendums from 1972 to 2008 Variety of sources used including survey data, content analysis of media coverage, experimental studies, and elite interviews not found elsewhere in the literature How do voters decide in referendums on European integration? Direct democracy has become an increasingly common feature of European politics with important implications for policy-making in the European Union. Attempts to reform the EU treaties have been stalled, and even abandoned, due to no-votes in referendums. Europe in Question sheds new light on the pivotal issue of electoral behaviour in referendums and provides a major contribution to the study of democracy in the European Union and voting behaviour more generally. Hobolt develops a comprehensive theoretical framework for understanding voting behaviour in referendums and presents a comparative analysis of EU referendums from 1972 to 2008. To examine why people vote the way they do, the role of political elites and the impact of the campaign dynamics, this books relies on a variety of sources including survey data, content analysis of media coverage, survey experiments, and elite interviews. The book illustrates the importance of campaign dynamics and elite endorsements in shaping public opinion, electoral mobilization and vote choices. Referendums are often criticized for presenting citizens with choices that are too complex and thereby generating outcomes that have little or no connection with the ballot proposal. Importantly this book shows that voters are smarter than they are often given credit for. They may not be fully informed about European politics, but they do consider the issues at stake before they go to the ballot box and they make use of the information provided by parties and the campaign environment. Readership: Scholars and students of political science, especially those interested in political behaviour, political parties, and European studies.
Article
The purpose of this book is to expand knowledge of political representation in the EU and of the legitimacy of its political order. In this concluding chapter, a summary is given of what has been learned on these two subjects and what this says about the EU as a developing democratic political system. The hypothesis that a well-functioning system of political representation is a precondition for a legitimate democratic political system serves as the leading theme. The chapter, therefore, first tries to evaluate the quality of the system of political representation of the EU, and from there continues with what has been learned about the legitimacy of the Union.
Article
Increasing politicization in EU member states about European issues can be expected to strengthen the impact of attitudes towards Europe on vote choice in European Parliament (EP) elections. At the same time this impact is likely to vary between voters and contexts as a function of political information. This study explores the role of political information in explaining individual and contextual heterogeneity in the degree of EU issue voting. Using a two-step hierarchical estimation procedure to explore both individual and contextual variation, we show that while EU issue voting in the 2009 EP elections is only slightly more pronounced among the politically sophisticated, it is clearly more extensive in contexts that provide higher levels of political information on European matters.
Article
Models explaining the rise of American-style or so-called postmodern campaigning have focused primarily on changes taking place at the systemic level. While these models help explain variance across countries where these techniques are used, they do not explain variations among individual parties. Given that not all parties adopt these tactics and techniques at the same time, the authors argue that there are party-specific variables that need to be taken into account when understanding the shift to the new campaigning era. Building on the existing literature, the authors identify the key traits of what they term professionalized campaigning and the variables that prime a party to adopt it. The article goes on to develop a causal model, based on external and internal party events or shocks, that explains why a particular party would embrace this new style of campaigning. Finally, the authors operationalize their theory and develop indicators to measure the key variables for empirical testing.
Article
Research on elections to the European Parliament (EP) has consistently found that European elections are distinguished by a lack of European content. Such elections, in spite of the growing powers exercised by the EP, remain ‘second-order’. Clearly, however, EU-related issues have affected the performance of some political parties in EP elections, particularly in countries such as Sweden and Denmark. In our empirical analysis of the three most recent EP elections, we explain party choice as a function of both European and non-EU-related factors. Through the use of standard regression models, we find that the parties that have not ‘got their act together’ on European issues—whose internal fractionalization leads to ambiguities about their stance on EU integration—systematically perform worse. We also corroborate some of the implications of the ‘second-order’ model and resolve some empirical disputes.
Article
This article is a comparative analysis of British and American parties and candidate election campaigning on the World Wide Web during the Presidential and General Elections of 2000 and 2001, respectively. The central questions are twofold: (1) Do parties differ across the two systems in terms of how they use the Web as a campaign tool? (2) Does the Web promote a more balanced or equalized exposure for party messages than other media? A combination of interview data, content analysis of sites and analysis of online and offline media coverage of the election is used to investigate these questions. Conclusions are drawn about the similarity of Web campaigning across the two countries and about the increasing dominance of the major parties, particularly in the UK.
Article
How were the results of the European Elections related to national political patterns? This article adopts a cross-national comparative perspective. It concludes that government parties, irrespective of being on the right or on the left of the political spectrum, and irrespective of representing the more ‘pro-European’ or the more ‘anti-European’ forces of their country, lost the European election of 1984. European elections have proved to be additional second-order elections (like local or provincial elections), important for the ripples they create on the national political scene. The systematic relationship between voting in firstorder and second-order elections is explored in detail. On the whole, it appears that the 1984 European elections have to be seen largely as tests of opinion on domestic politics.
Article
A prominent question in comparative electoral studies concerns the so-called personal vote. Typically, scholars approach this question at a cross-national as opposed to a cross-party level. In this article, in contrast, the author focuses on the characteristics of parties, as opposed to the characteristics of electoral systems, as determinants of candidates' personal vote seeking. The author argues that a candidate's adoption of an individualistic or collective strategy depends largely on centralized or decentralized nomination control in his party, his party's alliance options, and his access to and control over funding and patronage. The author explores the Brazilian case, testing his claims at the national and district level using multiple regression analysis. Furthermore, he explains how one party, the Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers' Party, PT), has overcome the incentives of the electoral system.
Article
The framework presented in this article supplies tools for delineating candidate selection methods, defines what is meant by their democratization and offers an analytical framework for cross-national comparison. The first section of this article raises the problems of classifying candidate selection methods and suggests solutions for them. Each of the next four sections offers a dimension for the classification of candidate selection methods: candidacy; party selectorates; decentralization; and voting/appointment systems. The sixth section defines the process of democratizing candidate selection, and demonstrates its implementation in the three largest political parties in Israel prior to the 1996 elections, via the dimensions of the analytical framework. The subsequent section assesses the repercussions of this democratizing phenomenon in general and provides empirical evidence drawn from the Israeli experience in the 1990s. The article concludes by examining the ability of political parties to comprehend and to overcome the consequences of democratizing candidate selection.
Article
Constituency (local) campaigning in British general elections has been transformed over the last ten years or so. Firstly, national party headquarters have taken an increasingly large role in planning and managing constituency campaigns. Although the pace of change has varied across the major parties, all are heading down the same road. Secondly, campaigning on the ground has also changed. Technological and other changes have led to a decline in the use of traditional campaign techniques and increased use of new methods, especially in 'key' seats. These developments are charted using data derived from a unique set of nation-wide surveys of election agents at the last three general elections. Finally, the paper returns (briefly) to the debate about the electoral effects of constituency campaigning, presenting data relating to its impact in each of the three elections concerned.
Article
This article develops and tests a new multidimensional index ĝ€" CAMPROF ĝ€" that is designed to measure and compare parties' use of professionalized campaign techniques during elections. Based on the extant literature, we identify and operationalize the essential components of this new form of campaigning to create a 30-point index that is applied to the case of the 2005 German federal election. The results show the CAMPROF Index to be: (1) successful in capturing variance in parties' engagement in professionalized campaigning, and (2) capable of producing rankings that correspond to a priori expectations about how well the parties would perform. The findings are significant in that they provide preliminary confirmation of the Index's capacity to measure the concept of professionalized campaigning as well as providing new insights into the party-level dynamics that may be driving the current wave of campaign modernization. The opportunities and challenges involved in wider application of the measure to cross-national research are discussed.
Article
Unlike other media, the Internet is the most democratic medium of political marketing, offering equality to all political candidates irrespective of their finances, their political power, and their political careers. This study investigates Web use by candidates during their campaign in the 2004 Greek national elections. The use of the Web by candidates is explored according to a number of factors such as political affiliation, geographical region, gender, and political experience of candidates. In addition, the use of the Web is investigated via a content analysis of the candidates’ Web pages. This study shows that Web use is related to political experience. Although more politicians are using the Web, limited use of interactivity and multimedia techniques reveals that Web candidates have not taken advantage of the Internet’s potential as a political marketing tool.
Article
Reif and Schmitt argued that elections to the European Parliament should be understood as second-order national elections, and advanced several predictions about the results of such elections. Those concerning the impact of government status, party size, party character and the national election cycle on electoral performance are examined here using data on four sets of European Parliament elections. In addition, the consequences of European Parliament elections for the next national election are explored. The analysis demonstrates the validity of most of Reif and Schmitt's original propositions, and further refines their analysis of the relationship between European and subsequent national elections. However, all propositions hold much more effectively in countries where alternation in government is the norm, suggesting that the distinction between first-order and second-order elections may not be so clear cut as Reif and Schmitt imagined.
Article
This article addresses the problems of the campaign period of the 1989 Euro-elections: frequency of following the campaign, media use, preferences for various channels of communication (conversations, encounters with party workers, political meetings, mailed material, posters, advertisements, press, TV, radio). It demonstrates that, even if important national variations can be found, common socio-economic and political stratifications are at work, across borders, on the continent. The variables of sex, occupation and political affiliations clearly play a role which frequently is transnational, and sometimes more active than the variable of nation. It is also true that, compared to the 1979 campaign, the 1989 one is marked by a problem of significant alignments: the last campaign tends to be less sexist, less ‘socially privileged’ and less biased to right wing voters than the first one. But these alignments take place among weak figures of interest and participation.
Article
This article reviews the existing literature on the study of on-line aspects of elections along three well-rehearsed theoretical frameworks: equalisation vs. normalisation, information vs. engagement, and mobilisation vs. reinforcement. It then examines the contribution of this volume to the field, first by direct reference to existing literature, then more generally, touching upon the notion of the 'comparative' – theoretical, geographical and empirical. I examine the contribution of the articles, considered as a collective effort, in relation to the increasing specialisation in the study of on-line aspects of elections. Then the framing of issues and the evidence presented within and across individual articles are used to assess the import of the internet for election campaigns with respect to increasing pluralism, professionalisation, and audience activity (or the lack thereof). It will be argued that this theme issue represents a first, necessary contribution towards gaining a cross-national understanding of the growing role of the internet for electoral practice. The last section further elaborates on possible future directions of online campaign studies, drawing on the study of the 2004 EP online election.
Article
The composition of the directly elected European Parliament does not precisely reflect the “real” balance of political forces in the European Community. As long as the national political systems decide most of what there is to be decided politically, and everything really important, European elections are additional national second-order elections. They are determined more by the domestic political cleavages than by alternatives originating in the EC, but in a different way than if nine first-order national elections took place simultaneously. This is the case because European elections occur at different stages of the national political systems' respective “electoral cycles”. Such a relationship between a second-order arena and the chief arena of a political system is not at all unusual. What is new here, is that one second-order political arena is related to nine different first-order arenas. A first analysis of European election results satisfactorily justifies the assumption that European Parliament direct elections should be treated as nine simultaneous national second-order elections.
Article
We investigate the dimensionality of politics in the European Parliament by applying a scaling method to all roll-call votes between 1979 and 2001 in the European Parliament. Contrary to most existing studies using these methods, we are able to interpret the substantive content of the observed dimensions using exogenous measures of national party policy positions. We find that the main dimension of politics in the European Union's only elected institution is the classic left-right dimension found in domestic politics. A second dimension is also present, although to a lesser extent, which captures government-opposition conflicts as well as national and European party positions on European integration.
Article
After six sets of European Parliament elections, do voters primarily use these elections to punish their national governments or to express their views on European issues? We answer this question by looking at all European elections (1979–2004) in all 25 EU states. We find that almost 40% of the volatility in party vote-shares in European elections compared to national elections is explained by the transfer of votes from large and governing parties to small and opposition parties. Nevertheless, anti-EU parties and green parties on average do better in European elections than in national elections. But these “European effects” are minor, and the position a party takes on Europe is largely irrelevant to its performance. Hence, despite the growing powers of the European Parliament, neither positions on matters regarding European integration, nor on matters regarding “normal” left-right policy, have much of an effect on electoral outcomes.
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This article examines the relationship between self-designated political ideology, opinions on twenty-one issues, and campaign activity at local, state, and national levels. The samples examined include delegates to the 1984 Party Conventions in eleven states. Generally, the findings indicate that ideology and issue position are most strongly associated with activity in national campaigns. Among Democrats liberalism is associated with national activity, whereas among Republicans those who are conservative are most active in national campaigns. Some important intraparty differences are found between local campaign activists and national activists. For example, among Democrats local campaign activists are much more conservative than national activists on several issues.
Article
Studies of representational roles usually examine elected representatives rather than election candidates and make little attempt to link roles with either behavior or the popular vote that candidates attract. In this paper, we use 1990 Australian data to examine all major party election candidates, and show that candidates identify with three types of representational roles:locals, who focus on articulating local concerns and interests;partisans, who see their role in party political terms; andlegislators, who emphasize the parliamentary role of an elected representative. Incumbents, especially party leaders, focus on the partisan role. Candidates in each of these three types have different views of the qualities that a candidate should possess and emphasize different forms of campaign activity. In turn, these roles have a modest impact on the popular vote that candidates attract, net of other factors. In Australia, incumbents rely on national partisan forces for reelection, while challengers rely much more on their own efforts.
Article
After seven waves of European Parliament elections and European Union enlargement to 27 states, the time is ripe to analyse the temporal robustness of the second-order model. We pool all the elections in a single evaluation and also look at election-by-election variations. We analyse changes in party performance over time in all EU states as well as in the ‘original 10’, to see whether any cross-time changes are driven by the changing composition of the EU. We also look for pan-European trends in each election, as a way identifying ‘European effects’ distinct from second-order effects. There are few consistent winners and losers, although socialist parties performed worse in the last three elections than their size and government status would predict.
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Pippa Norris provides a schematic account of the evolution of campaigning through premodern, modern and postmodern stages. In particular she points to an emerging postmodern phase of electioneering characterized by a renewed emphasis upon direct forms of engagement which resonate with an earlier period in which campaigns were locally fought and largely dependent upon the canvassing efforts of party workers and volunteers. Norris's analysis offers a useful prism with which to view recent developments in electioneering in Australia. In the past several elections the rival Labor and Liberal parties have attempted to achieve a synergy between their centrally conducted and constituency-level campaigns by ensuring that their national campaigns are locally relevant and address local concerns. Their efforts to 'localize the national' meld the use of sophisticated software with elements of a traditional 'meet and greet' politics and suggest that local campaigning may now have a new shape and importance.