Constituency campaigning and local contests at the 2010 UK General Election

Charles J. Pattie*, Ron J. Johnston

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The careful targeting of constituency campaign efforts in key marginal seats has become an important element of party electioneering in recent British General Elections. However, for some years, a substantial asymmetry has existed between the major parties, with Labour and the Liberal Democrats better able to target their campaigns than the Conservatives, and more likely to benefit from doing so, helping to exacerbate the pro-Labour bias apparent in recent election results. This situation broke down after 2005, as the Labour government ran into increasing difficulties and as the Conservatives recovered and modernised their campaign machinery (including the development of a sophisticated and well-resourced marginal seats strategy). This article examines early evidence of the impact of local campaigning at the 2010 General Election. All three major parties now target their local campaign resources, and all three benefit: Labour's edge in this area has been eroded substantially. British Politics (2010) 5, 481-505. doi:10.1057/bp.2010.16

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-505
Number of pages25
JournalBritish Politics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • local campaigns
  • voting behaviour
  • contextual effects


Dive into the research topics of 'Constituency campaigning and local contests at the 2010 UK General Election'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this