The Impact of Electoral Context on the Electoral Effectiveness of District-Level Campaigning: Popularity Equilibrium and the Case of the 2015 British General Election

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Campaigning at the district level can deliver electoral payoffs in a range of countries despite variations in electoral systems. However, effects may not be consistent. Campaigns do not occur in a vacuum, and contextual factors, exogenous to the campaign activity itself, may have a significant effect on the level of their electoral impact. The 2015 General Election in Britain is a particularly interesting case as there was a key contextual factor which could impact significantly on the effectiveness of the parties’ campaigns; the electoral unpopularity of the Liberal Democrats. Using a unique new dataset, this article assesses the contextual impact of party equilibrium at both national and district levels on campaign effectiveness. It represents the first attempt on a large scale to systematically assess the impact of party popularity on campaign effectiveness and demonstrates at both national and district levels the importance of contextual effects on election campaigns.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-290
Number of pages20
JournalPolitical Studies
Issue number2
Early online date10 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019