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Social mobilisation in partisan spaces

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Peter John, Florian Foos, Christian Mueller, Kevin Cunninghham

Original languageEnglish
JournalJOURNAL OF POLITICS
Published25 Oct 2020

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Abstract

Three decades ago Huckfeldt and Sprague hypothesised that partisan context constrains infor-mation sharing between neighbours. We develop their theory to identify implications for campaignmobilisation in homogeneous and mixed-partisan contexts. We argue that GOTV spillover effectsshould vary with the proportion of rival party supporters in a neighbourhood. Based on two sam-ples of households that were either included or excluded pre-random assignment from a street-levelGOTV experiment, we test this expectation of differential spillover effects. We estimate neigh-bourhood party preferences based on targeting data made available by the UK Labour Party. Wefind that spillover effects on party supporters are smaller in neighbourhoods that include largershares of rival party supporters. Rival partisans are mobilised in mixed partisan neighbourhoodswhere the probability of spillovers from mixed partisan households is higher. This paper extendsHuckfeldt and Sprague’s theory, and demonstrates the importance of social dynamics for parties’campaign. strategies.

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