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Raising the tone? The impact of 'positive' and 'negative' campaigning on voting in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election

Johns, R.A. and Pattie, C. and Denver, D. and Mitchell, J. (2010) Raising the tone? The impact of 'positive' and 'negative' campaigning on voting in the 2007 Scottish Parliament election. Electoral Studies, 30 (2). pp. 333-343. ISSN 0261-3794

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Abstract

Most survey-based research on campaign effects in British elections has focussed on exposure to the campaign. Far less attention has been given to how the campaign is perceived, although American research on the effects of negativecampaigning suggests that this is a potentially important area. The article investigates the extent to which vote choices in the 2007ScottishParliamentelection were affected by perceptions of the parties’ campaigns as ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. Partisanship and increased exposure to a party’s campaign increased individuals’ chances of rating a campaign positively. Other things being equal, however, campaigns which come to be seen in a negative light backfire on the party responsible, reducing the propensity of people to vote for it.