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Information effect on voter turnout: how campaign spending mobilises voters

Trumm, Siim; Sudulich, Laura; Townsley, Joshua


Associate Professor

Laura Sudulich

Joshua Townsley


We explore the impact of campaign effort on constituency-level turnout variation in Britain, under the premise that higher levels of campaign visibility stimulate electoral participation. We focus on the relationship between the competitiveness of the race and campaign effort as a provider of electoral information on the one hand, and voter turnout on the other hand. In doing so, we address the role of campaign effort and competitiveness in shaping turnout both independently as well as jointly. Further to this, we seek to add nuance to our understanding of how electoral campaigns mobilise voters by evaluating the comparative ability of different parties – based on whether or not they are ‘viable’ contenders in a particular constituency – to stimulate turnout. We find evidence that campaign effort mobilises voters and has a significant positive effect on voter turnout; this effect is independent from, and unconditioned by, the competitiveness of the race. However, we do find that this effect is mostly driven by the campaign effort of the ‘viable’ contenders in the constituency.


Trumm, S., Sudulich, L., & Townsley, J. (in press). Information effect on voter turnout: how campaign spending mobilises voters. Acta Politica, 52(4),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 15, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 29, 2016
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 29, 2016
Journal Acta Politica
Print ISSN 0001-6810
Electronic ISSN 1741-1416
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 52
Issue 4
Keywords Electoral Participation, Competitiveness, Campaign Information, Great Britain
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Acta Politica. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Trumm, S., Sudulich, L. & Townsley, J. Acta Polit (2016) doi:10.1057/s41269-016-0027-8 is available online at:


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