Surfing to the Élysée: The Internet in the 2007 French Elections
The internet was one of the most discussed communication innovations in the French 2007 Presidential and legislative elections. In order to assess the state of online campaigning in France, this article analyzes the characteristics of the websites of 12 presidential candidates and 10 national parties during the campaign. The data reveal that, despite the media hype, online electioneering in France is still at an intermediary stage, especially in terms of participation tools. Significant differences were found among candidates and, especially, parties. The gap between large and small parties is found to be greater than in most of similar country studies, thus providing new evidence against the internet's ability to level the political playing field. Distinctive patterns of online electioneering emerge between conservative and progressive parties and candidates.