Advertisement

French Politics

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1–22 | Cite as

Surfing to the Élysée: The Internet in the 2007 French Elections

  • Cristian Vaccari
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

elections France internet parties candidates online campaigning 

References

  1. Astor, P. (2006) ‘Présidentielle: Les nouveaux adhérents en ligne, une force pour les partis politiques?’, 4 August, http://www.zdnet.fr/actualites/internet/0,39020774,39362472,00.htm.
  2. Bentivegna, S. (2006) ‘Rethinking politics in the world of ICTs’, European Journal of Communication, 21 (3): 331–343.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bimber, B. and Davis, R. (2003) Campaigning on Line: The Internet in US Elections, Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. CEVIPOF (2007a) ‘Le Baromètre Politique Français, 4ème vague’, CEVIPOF-Ministère de l'Intérieur, http://www.cevipof.msh-paris.fr.
  5. CEVIPOF (2007b) ‘Le Panel Electoral Français 2007: Enquête post électorale présidentielle 2007’, CEVIPOF-Ministère de l'Intérieur, http://www.cevipof.msh-paris.fr.
  6. Cunha, C., Martìn, I., Newell, J. and Ramiro, L. (2003) ‘Southern European Parties and Party Systems, and the New ICTs’, in R. Gibson, P. Nixon and S. Ward (eds.) Political Parties and the Internet: Net Gain?, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 70–97.Google Scholar
  7. Dalton, R. and Wattenberg, M. (eds.) (2000) Parties without Partisans: Political Change in Advanced Industrial Democracies, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Davis, R. and Owen, D. (2005) ‘The United States: The Internet and the 2004 Presidential Election Campaign’, Parties and Election Campaigning Online, Proceedings of the Oxford Internet Institute International Workshop, 20–21 October 2005; Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  9. Desirs d'Avenir (2007) ‘Point d 'étape sur la Net-campagne de Ségolène Royal’, 21 March, http://www.desirsdavenir.org/pdf/point_d_etape.pdf.
  10. Dolez, B. and Laurent, A. (2007) ‘Une primaire à la française: La designation de Ségolène Royal par le parti socialiste’, Revue Française de Science Politique, 57 (2): 133–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Farmer, R. and Fender, R. (2005) ‘E-parties: democratic and Republican State parties in 2000’, Party Politics, 11 (1): 47–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gibson, R. and Ward, S. (2000) ‘A proposed methodology for studying the function and effectiveness of party and candidate web sites’, Social Science Computer Review, 18 (3): 301–319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Grofman, B. and Lewis-Beck, M. (2005) ‘Symposium introduction: elections under the French double ballot system’, French Politics, 3 (2): 93–97.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ifop (2006) ‘L'observatoire 2006-2007 de la netcampagne présidentielle’, http://www.ifop2007.fr.
  15. Kaye, B. and Johnson, T. (2006) ‘The Age of Reasons: Motives for Using Different Components of the Internet for Political Information’, in A. Williams and J. Tedesco (eds.) The Internet Election: Perspectives on the Web in Campaign 2004, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, pp. 147–167.Google Scholar
  16. Knapp, A. (2004) Parties and the Party System in France: A Disconnected Democracy?, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Margolis, M. and Resnick, D. (2000) Politics as Usual: The Cyberspace ‘Revolution’, London: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  18. Margolis, M., Resnick, D. and Levy, J. (2003) ‘Major Parties Dominate, Minor Parties Struggle: US Elections and the Internet’, in R. Gibson, P. Nixon and S. Ward (eds.) Political Parties and the Internet: Net Gain?, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 53–69.Google Scholar
  19. Mediametrie (2007) ‘L'audience de l'Internet en France, Avril 2007’, http://www.mediametrie.fr.
  20. Muxel, A. (2006) ‘Les Français et la participation politique’, Le Baromètre Politique Français 2006–2007, vague 2, CEVIPOF-Ministère de l'Intérieur, http://www.cevipof.msh-paris.fr.
  21. Nixon, P., Ward, S. and Gibson, R. (2003) ‘Conclusions: The Net Change’, in R. Gibson, P. Nixon and S. Ward (eds.) Political Parties and the Internet: Net Gain?, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 234–243.Google Scholar
  22. Norris, P. (2001) Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Norris, P. (2003) ‘Preaching to the converted? Pluralism, participation and party websites’, Party Politics, 9 (1): 21–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Sartori, G. (1976) Parties and Party Systems: A Framework for Analysis, Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Sauger, N. (2002) ‘Les partis sur le Net: Première approche des pratiques virtuelles des partis politiques français’, in V. Serfaty (ed.) L'Internet en politique, des Etats-Unis à l'Europe, Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg, pp. 179–195.Google Scholar
  26. Schweitzer, E. (2005) ‘Election campaigning online: German party websites in the 2002 national elections’, European Journal of Communication, 20 (3): 327–351.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stromer-Galley, J. (2000) ‘On-line interaction and why candidates avoid it’, Journal of Communication, 50 (4): 111–132.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. TNS Sofres (2007) ‘Les internautes et la politique’, http://www.tns-sofres.com.
  29. Vaccari, C. (2008) ‘Research Note: Italian Parties' Websites in the 2006 Elections’, European Journal of Communication, 23 (1): 69–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vedel, T. (2007) ‘Les électeurs et la campagne électorale: Une vision désenchantée des candidats?’, Le Panel Électoral Français 2007, vague 2, CEVIPOF-Ministère de l'Intérieur, http://www.cevipof.msh-paris.fr.
  31. Vedel, T. and Koc Michalska, K. (2007) ‘Political participation and the internet: evidence from the 2007 French presidential election’, Proceedings of the ICEG 3rd International Conference on e-Government; 27–28 September 2007; Montreal, Canada.Google Scholar
  32. Villalba, B. (2003) ‘Moving towards an Evolution in Political Mediation? French Political Parties and the New ICTs’, in R. Gibson, P. Nixon and S. Ward (eds.) Political Parties and the Internet: Net Gain?, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 120–138.Google Scholar
  33. Ward, S., Gibson, R. and Nixon, P. (2003) ‘Parties and the Internet: An Overview’, in R. Gibson, P. Nixon and S. Ward (eds.) Political Parties and the Internet: Net Gain?, London, New York: Routledge, pp. 11–38.Google Scholar
  34. Ward, S. and Vedel, T. (2006) ‘Introduction: the potential of the internet revisited’, Parliamentary Affairs, 59 (2): 210–225.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Williams, A. and Tedesco, J. (eds.) (2006) The Internet Election: Perspectives on the Web in Campaign 2004, Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristian Vaccari
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Organizzazione e Sistema Politico, Università di BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations