Welcome to the website for the study of Constituency Campaigning in the 2017 General Election. This project is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and is being undertaken by Justin Fisher (Brunel University London), David Cutts (University of Birmingham) and Edward Fieldhouse (University of Manchester). Our research assistants are Bettina Rottweiler and Yohanna Sällberg (Brunel University London).
Constituency level campaigning has become crucial to the electoral strategies of all the major parties in Britain, and a significant academic literature – initially regarded as ‘revisionist’ – has emerged. This work – now regarded as mainstream – has revealed many things including how campaigns have changed over time; how parties have responded to wider changes in society, the electorate, and within their own parties; and the degree to which parties are able to harness their resources effectively to fight elections. They have also informed discussions about power within parties – how far central party organisations are able to coordinate constituency party campaigns and how much is left to the grass-roots. And finally, they have furthered our understanding of how voters respond to cues from the parties, and the extent to which voters can be mobilized.
This study will examine constituency campaigning at the 2017 British General Election and will provide not only a continuation of a unique and valuable time series that began in 1992, but also a programme of innovation that furthers our understanding of the impact, role, and nature of campaigns in the modern political arena. The study will seek to address four underlying research questions:
2) How have campaign techniques evolved?
3) How are party campaign organisations evolving?
4) What is the impact of constituency campaigns on different groups of electors?