IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Spending, contacting, and voting: the 2010 British general election in the constituencies


  • Ron Johnston
  • Charles Pattie
  • David Cutts
  • Justin Fisher


Abstract. A substantial body of recent research has uncovered the impact of constituency campaigns on British general election outcomes, using the published returns of candidates’ spending as a proxy measure for their campaigns’ intensity—the more spent, the greater the intensity of the local campaign, and the greater the intensity of campaigning, the better their performance in the constituency, and the poorer their opponents’ performance. These data refer only to the last few weeks before the election, however, and cannot identify how spending affects behaviour. For the latter, it is argued that spending is a proxy measure for the amount of contact between candidates and voters; the greater the amount spent the greater the probability that an elector contacted will vote for the relevant party. It has been difficult to evaluate this argument until the 2010 general election, however, for which the availability of a large panel survey that includes information on those contacts allows a full assessment of the hypothesis. The results show that the more spent in a constituency the greater the volume and range of contacts there, which in turn increases the probability of individuals voting for the party concerned. Keywords: canvassing, contacting, campaign spending, elections, Britain

Suggested Citation

  • Ron Johnston & Charles Pattie & David Cutts & Justin Fisher, 2012. "Spending, contacting, and voting: the 2010 British general election in the constituencies," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 44(5), pages 1165-1184, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:5:p:1165-1184

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: abstract
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: Fulltext access restricted to subscribers, see for details

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:44:y:2012:i:5:p:1165-1184. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Neil Hammond). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.