• David Butler
  • Dennis Kavanagh


Parties devote immense effort and resources — manpower, money and planning — to general election campaigns. However, in terms of the voting decisions of some three-quarters of the electorate, and the election outcome of some four-fifths of seats, the results are largely decided before the dissolution of parliament. Party strategists have to remind themselves of the limits which can be achieved by even the best-run campaign. For many voters electoral choice is a product of a life-time of influences, rather than a response to the stimuli associated with the four hectic weeks of an election campaign.1


Opinion Poll Election Campaign Party Leader Press Conference Labour Party 
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  1. 1.
    See I. Crewe, ‘The Campaign Confusion’, New Society, 8 May 1987.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    see David Cox, ‘Does election broadcasting meet the needs of the voters?’, Listener, 18 June 1987, p. 16.Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    R. Tyler, Campaign: The Selling of the Prime Minister (London, 1987).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    On this see R. Oakley, ‘Tangle of Labour Tax and Benefits Policy Fuels Doubts’, The Times, 9 June 1987.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    For one insider’s account, see D. Wilson, Battle for Power (London, 1987).Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    See R. Eliahoo ‘What the voters thought of the election circus’, Campaign 26 June 1987.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© David Butler and Dennis Kavanagh 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Butler
    • 1
  • Dennis Kavanagh
    • 2
  1. 1.Nuffield CollegeOxfordUK
  2. 2.University of NottinghamUK

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