Strategic issue emphasis in parties’ election campaign statements

  • Parties should develop a consistent issue profile during an electoral campaign. Yet, manifestos, which form the baseline for a party’s programmatic goals in the upcoming legislative period, are usually published months before Election Day. We argue that parties must emphasize policy issues that are of key relevance to their likely voters in the last weeks of the election campaign, in which an increasing share of citizens make up their minds in terms of which party they will choose. To test this notion empirically, we draw on a novel data set that covers information on party representatives’ statements made during the final weeks of an election campaign in nine European countries. Focusing on the campaign messages of social democratic and socialist parties, we find that these parties indeed intensify their emphasis of unemployment policy, which is a salient issue for their core voter clienteles, particularly in times of economic hardship.

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Author:Markus Baumann, Marc Debus, Martin Gross
Parent Title (English):Party politics
Publisher:Sage Publ.
Place of publication:London [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2019/08/06
Date of first Publication:2019/08/06
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2021/09/28
Tag:campaigns; party competition; party families; strategy
Page Number:13
First Page:515
Last Page:527
Support for this research, which is part of the Comparative Campaign Dynamics Project, was provided by the German Research Foundation (DE1667/4-1) and by the Mannheim Centre for European Social Research (MZES).
Dieser Beitrag ist mit Zustimmung des Rechteinhabers aufgrund einer (DFG-geförderten) Allianz- bzw. Nationallizenz frei zugänglich.
This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 32 Politikwissenschaft / 320 Politikwissenschaft
Licence (German):License LogoDeutsches Urheberrecht