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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Constituency Campaigning in the 2008/9/10 General Election

Grant reference: RES-000-22-2762

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Conference paper/presentation details

Members are not the only fruit
Existing research on volunteer activity in political parties has focussed almost exclusively on party membership, both in terms of aggregate levels and activities undertaken. Recent developments in British political parties suggest however, an increasing role for party supporters – supporters of parties who are not formal members. Using data collected through surveys of election agents at the 2010 general election, this paper examines the extent of supporter activity in constituency campaigns, correlates of supporter and member activity, and assesses the impact of supporter activity on electoral outcomes. The paper will provide an opportunity to question whether the evolution of party organisations suggests that formal members are less important than has been previously assumed in the conduct of election campaigns and whether supporter activity complements or substitutes for that of members.

Primary contributor

Author Justin Fisher

Additional contributors

Co-author Edward Fieldhouse
Co-author David Cutts

Additional details

09 September 2011
Annual conference of the Political Studies Association elections, public opinion and parties specialist group
09 September 2011