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Crusted Agent to Media Expert: The Changing Face of Campaigns

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Abstract

Even a cursory examination of political campaigning in the limited electoral democracy of the Victorian era offers parallels with modern-day activities and dispels any nostalgic idea that the past provides a state of grace from which modern campaigners have fallen. H.J. Hanham comments on the personalisation of elections around the formidable figures of the major party leaders, Gladstone and Disraeli, ‘in much the same way as the Conservatives magnified the appeal of Sir Winston Churchill in 1945’.2 Election campaigning issues were usually few, and frequently there was just one national topic, such as the abolition of income tax (1874) or Irish Home Rule (1886). The campaigning slogan, ‘the cry’, was handed down by party leaders to their followers.

Keywords

Prime Minister Election Campaign Party Leader Labour Party Conservative Party 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Lord Windlesham, Communication and Political Power (1966) p. 25.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H.J. Hanham, Elections and Party Management: Politics in the Time of Disraeli and Gladstone (1978) p. 201.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Ibid., p. 215. A number of historical studies of American political campaigning make a similar point. See, for example: Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Packaging the Presidency (1984);Google Scholar
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  5. 8.
    Quoted in Sidney Blumenthal, Permanent Campaign (1982) p. 33.Google Scholar
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    George Creel, How We Advertised America (1920) p. 4.Google Scholar
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    Harold Lasswell, Propaganda Technique in the World War (1927) pp. 220–1.Google Scholar
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    This account relies on Keith Middlemas, Politics in Industrial Society (1979) pp. 131–2.Google Scholar
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  17. 28.
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    Joseph Klapper, The Effects of Mass Communication, (1960).Google Scholar
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    See Martin Harrop, ‘Voters’, in Jean Seaton and Ben Pimlott (eds), The Media in British Politics (1987), for a good summary of research thinking on media effects and voters. For discussion about the present state of communications research, see European Journal of Communication vol. 5, 2–3, June 1990; for good introductionsGoogle Scholar
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    For an introduction to market research, see Peter Chisnall, Marketing Research (1981).Google Scholar
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    House of Commons Debates, Hansard, vol. 627, col. 788, 21 July 1960.Google Scholar
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    Andrew Gamble, The Conservative Nation (1974) p. 67.Google Scholar
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  35. 72.
    Sir Robin Day, Grand Inquisitor (1989) p. 256.Google Scholar
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    (Sir) G. Pattie, ‘Marketing the Tories’, Crossbow, 12(47) April June 1969.Google Scholar
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    See Mireille Babaz, Le Rôle de la Publicité dans les Campagnes Electorales Britanniques (1977) p. 199.Google Scholar
  38. 80.
    D. Butler and M. Pinto-Duschinsky, The British General Election of 1970 (1971) p. 153.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Margaret Scammell 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Politics and Communication StudiesUniversity of LiverpoolUK

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