Organizing, Strategizing, and Voting in Leadership Elections

William Cross and André Blais

in Politics at the Centre

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199596720
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191740688 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Organizing, Strategizing, and Voting in Leadership Elections

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This chapter considers the strategies and campaign techniques of those seeking the party leadership and the considerations that drive the voting decisions of those making the choice. When the parliamentary party chooses the leader the contests are defined by the small size of the selectorate and the personal relationships between candidates and voters. These contests often resemble palace politics as they can be highly secretive and bitter, and are often characterized by Machiavellian-type ploys and tactics. When the selectorate is expanded to include a party’s grassroots, the contests are significantly more transparent and the candidates’ skills in the broadcast media become important. Regardless of who forms the selectorate, the key concern of voters most often is which candidate has the broadest electoral appeal and is most likely to lead the party to victory in the next general election.

Keywords: campaign techniques; campaign strategies; voting behaviour in leadership contests; leadership campaigns; parliamentary party politics

Chapter.  13691 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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