UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Parties are No Civic Charities: Voter Contact and the Changing Partisan Composition of the Electorate

Foos, F; John, P; (2018) Parties are No Civic Charities: Voter Contact and the Changing Partisan Composition of the Electorate. Political Science Research and Methods , 6 (2) pp. 283-298. 10.1017/psrm.2016.48. Green open access

[thumbnail of Manuscript_Foos_John.pdf]
Preview
Text
Manuscript_Foos_John.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (4MB) | Preview

Abstract

In contrast to non-partisan Get Out the Vote (GOTV) campaigns, political parties do not aim to increase turnout across the board. Instead, their principal goal is to affect the outcome of an election in their favor. To find out how they realize this aim, we carried out a randomized field experiment to evaluate the effect of campaign visits and leafleting by Conservative Party canvassers on turnout in a marginal English Parliamentary constituency during the 2014 European and Local Elections. Commonly-used campaign interventions, leaflets and door-knocks, changed the composition of the electorate in favor of the Conservative Party, but did not increase turnout overall. Supporters of rival parties, particularly Labour self-identifiers, were significantly less likely to mobilize in response to Conservative campaign contact than Conservative supporters. In contrast to the non-partisan GOTV literature, we show that impersonal campaign leaflets were as effective in shaping the local electorate in the Conservative’s favor as personal visits. The common practice of contacting all constituents irrespective of their party preferences was effective as a campaign tactic, but had no civic benefits in the aggregate.

Type: Article
Title: Parties are No Civic Charities: Voter Contact and the Changing Partisan Composition of the Electorate
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/psrm.2016.48
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/psrm.2016.48
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Political Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1531107
Downloads since deposit
182Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item