Did the Media Matter? Agenda-Setting, Persuasion and Mobilization Effects in the British General Election Campaign
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Did campaign communications contribute towards changes in voter preferences in the 2005 UK general election through priming, persuasion and mobilization effects? And, if so, which communication channel proved most influential? To examine this topic, Part I summarizes the literature on the impact of campaign communications and develops the theoretical framework. Part II discusses the data and indicators, drawing upon the 2005 pre–post campaign British Election Study (NatCen) to compare the impact of exposure to mass media channels (newspapers and party political broadcasts on television), people-intensive channels (the effects of local party contact activity) and new technology channels (campaign information available on the Internet). Part III analyses the results, focusing upon pre–post campaign changes in issue salience, perceptions of government competence, and voter participation among those using these different communication channels. In Part IV the conclusion summarizes the main findings and considers their implications.
Keywordscampaigns elections media communication effects
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