The effect of new media on candidate independence: a comparison of constituency candidates in the United Kingdom and Japan

Vincent, Sean Paul (2018) The effect of new media on candidate independence: a comparison of constituency candidates in the United Kingdom and Japan. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

This thesis examines how constituency candidates are furthering independence from the
national party through new media campaigning, by comparing data from general elections in
two countries with different styles of campaigning – party-centred campaigning in the United
Kingdom (2015) and candidate-centred campaigning Japan (2014). Data collection and
analysis has been conducted in a two-stage process. Firstly, candidates’ website and social
media use (Twitter and Facebook) during election campaigns was examined, establishing the
degree to which candidates are using new media to pursue the personal vote, and what form
this takes. Findings from candidate new media use were also used to formulate the second
stage of research – interviews with candidates and members of parliament in both the UK
and Japan.
A secondary research question has also examines whether personal vote seeking behaviour
has a positive impact on candidates’ electoral performance, or whether party performance
factors are a key factor of performance at the constituency level.
This study confirms that that Japanese candidates use new media to run more candidate
centred campaigns, replicating traditional campaign styles, but also finds that other factors,
namely candidates’ levels of experience and the strength of the national party, play a role in
how candidates utilise new media. This is broadly confirmed through findings from candidate
interviews which also provide a greater understanding of different campaign behaviour not
just between Japanese and UK candidates, but also those representing political parties of
varying strength.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General) > JF0020 General. Comparative government > JF0799 Political rights. Political participation
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2018 15:04
Last Modified: 25 Jun 2018 15:04
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/76624

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