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Politics at the CentreThe Selection and Removal of Party Leaders in the Anglo Parliamentary Democracies$
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William P. Cross and André Blais

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596720

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199596720.001.0001

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Organizing, Strategizing, and Voting in Leadership Elections

Organizing, Strategizing, and Voting in Leadership Elections

(p.128) Chapter 7 Organizing, Strategizing, and Voting in Leadership Elections
Politics at the Centre

William Cross

André Blais

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the strategies and campaign techniques of those seeking the party leadership and the considerations that drive the voting decisions of those making the choice. When the parliamentary party chooses the leader the contests are defined by the small size of the selectorate and the personal relationships between candidates and voters. These contests often resemble palace politics as they can be highly secretive and bitter, and are often characterized by Machiavellian-type ploys and tactics. When the selectorate is expanded to include a party’s grassroots, the contests are significantly more transparent and the candidates’ skills in the broadcast media become important. Regardless of who forms the selectorate, the key concern of voters most often is which candidate has the broadest electoral appeal and is most likely to lead the party to victory in the next general election.

Keywords:   campaign techniques, campaign strategies, voting behaviour in leadership contests, leadership campaigns, parliamentary party politics

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