Identifying the three key groups of actors in the electoral process – the voters; the press and television journalists; the politicians, campaign managers and advisers – Kavanagh explores how campaign communications in Britain have changed in the course of the century. By drawing on interviews with some of the major players in recent British elections, he differentiates between the styles of the present–day political camps, and provides an insightful overview of the dynamics of campaigning today. Throughout the book, changes in British campaigns are set in a global context, with particular attention given to America. Kavanagh examines just how far British political institutions and cultures have created a distinctive response to "Americanization". He considers, finally, claims that the professionalization is part of a larger political agenda, in particular the downgrading of distinctive party ideologies.
List of Tables.
1. New Campaign Communications.
3. Political Communications: Conservatives.
4. Political Communications: Labour.
5. Public Opinion Polls.
6. Private Opinion Polls.
7. Uses and Limits of Political Marketing.
8. Mass Media: Press.
9. Mass Media: Television.
List of Interviewees.
"This is a book that Mr Major and Mr Blair should make sure is thumbed through by their present day publicists and media advisers." Parliamentary Brief