Poland’s 2011 Online Election Campaign: New Tools, New Professionalism, New Ways to Win Votes

Abstract : This paper analyses the use of the online environment within the context of the Polish parliamentary election of 2011. Using traditional methods of content analysis we find that parties tend to adhere to a professionalised model of campaigning, adapting online tools to suit the objectives of the campaign. There also appears to be a recognition that their most likely visitors would be converts and so they attempt to mobilise supporters rather than convert browsers. New parties and candidates are more likely to target browsers; the latter offering a more personalised experience to online visitors. Importantly, when analysing the outcome of the contest we find that being online matters for candidates when controlling for all other variables. Equally the reach the candidate has, which may well influence their vote share, is dependent on offering a more personalised, representational image and having a frequently updated online presence that should encourage repeat visits. Cumulatively we suggest the future of online campaigning must not only focus on having a presence but using it in a way that appeals to a range of visitors, encouraging repeat visits, and that this strategy could have a positive impact on election outcomes.
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Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2014, pp.19. 〈10.1080/19331681.2014.899176〉
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Karolina Koc-Michalska, Darren Lilleker, Pawel Surowiec, Pawel Baranowski. Poland’s 2011 Online Election Campaign: New Tools, New Professionalism, New Ways to Win Votes. Journal of Information Technology and Politics, Taylor & Francis (Routledge), 2014, pp.19. 〈10.1080/19331681.2014.899176〉. 〈hal-01096349〉

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