This book concentrates on the leaders of the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats in British general election campaigns between 2010 and 2019, by exploring where they visit during the campaign and why, the impact they have, and how leadership is represented in the Press. It establishes the key strategic underpinnings for their visits, and the types of activities they undertake - in a uniquely British context. The degree to which leaders - and their visits - form an important dimension of voter behaviour is also considered.
Moreover, the book explores how the Press delve into the personal lives of lesser-known opposition leaders and scrutinise the policies of Prime Ministers. The types of visits by leaders that become newsworthy are identified alongside their importance as a framing tool in election reporting. Beyond the leaders themselves, press reporting on their personal relationships is scrutinised, showing an increased acceptance of active partnership.
Chapter 1. Political Leadership and Contemporary British Election Campaigns.- Chapter 2. Hitting the Road.- Chapter 3. Preaching to the Converted?.- Chapter 4 – Follow the leader?.- Chapter 5 - Reporting Leadership.- Chapter 6. Partners in Politics.- Chapter 7 – Towards a Typology.- Chapter 8. The future of the campaign trail.
Alia Middleton is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Surrey. She is the author of several research articles and her research interests include: the electoral impact of MP retirement, the political lifecycle and multi-level voting behaviour.
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