Targeted (and Untargeted) Local Campaigning

  • Philip Cowley
  • Dennis Kavanagh


Constituency campaigning has been transformed in recent elections. Many of the more traditional methods, such as volunteers knocking on doors and delivering leaflets, still take place, but increasingly there has been more direction and control from national party headquarters, more use of technology and more sophisticated targeting of individual voters. All three of these changes were in evidence in 2017 and probably to a greater degree than in recent elections, along with a larger spend than ever on digital messaging. But there were also widespread complaints about the inaccuracy of much targeting and the failure of central direction. The 2017 election was also notable for the number of candidates who complained of intimidation and abuse, often (though not solely) on social media.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philip Cowley
    • 1
  • Dennis Kavanagh
    • 2
  1. 1.Queen Mary University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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