The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Sudulich, Wall, Jansen, Cunningham: Me too for web 2.0? Patterns of online campaigning among candidates in the 2010 UK general election

Paper presenter: 
Sudulich, M.L., University of Amsterdam; Wall, M., Free University Amsterdam

In this study, we seek to provide an analysis of candidates’ online campaigning in the 2010 British general election. Previous characterizations of online campaigns have tended to focus on the presence of candidates' campaign websites, and, more recently, on their use of various web 2.0 campaigning instruments. In this research, we provide continuity with past investigations by comparing the patterns that have helped to explain the uptake of campaign websites by candidates with patterns of uptake of a web 2.0 campaign platform, namely Facebook. We find some overlaps, partisan patterns and marginality appear to play relatively similar roles in explaining both types of activity; however the pre‐campaign 'favorite' status of candidates appears to explain candidates launching a website, but not a Facebook page, whereas incumbency and the web activities of opponents in a candidate’s constituency both help to explain Facebook usage but not launching a website. We discuss the implications of these findings for our understanding of the evolution of cybercampaigning.

Maria Laura Sudulich, Matthew Wall, Elmar Jansen, Kevin Cunningham