Constituency Campaigning

  • David Butler
  • Dennis Kavanagh


British election law remains almost entirely based on the Victorian idea that what is involved is a whole set of separate contests between independent gentlemen fighting individual campaigns in each of 600 or so constituencies. In 1997, 3724 candidates (825 more than the 1992 record of 2899) battled to become MPs in the 659 seats in the new parliament. They were supported by some hundreds of professional agents and some hundred thousands of party workers. Yet a growing body of studies point to the importance of the local campaign, not only in affecting some results but also in recruiting party members and improving the local organisation.1 Reactions to the activities of leaders and parties at Westminster would largely swamp any local endeavours. In trying to assess what they did, we have been largely influenced by the responses of more than a hundred candidates to a long questionnaire and by our interviews with candidates and agents.


Party Worker Electoral Register Local Party Safe Seat Constituency Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    See D. Denver and G. Hands, Modern Constituency Electioneering (1997)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    P. Whiteley et al. True Blues (1994)Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    S. Smith, The Electoral Register (1993)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Butler
    • 1
  • Dennis Kavanagh
    • 2
  1. 1.OxfordUK
  2. 2.University of LiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations