The Role of Britain's Televised Leadership Debates in Shaping Political Engagement

LEADERS IN THE LIVING ROOM: THE PRIME MINISTERIAL DEBATES OF 2010: EVIDENCE, EVALUATION AND SOME RECOMMENDATIONS, S. Coleman, Reuter's Institute for the Study of Journalism, 2011

9 Pages Posted: 6 Mar 2011 Last revised: 3 Dec 2015

See all articles by William H. Dutton

William H. Dutton

University of Southern California

Andrew Shipley

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: September 28, 2010

Abstract

A key question raised by the three party-leader debates held during Britain's 2010 national election campaign was whether it had a positive impact on political engagement. This is especially important given that in the months preceding the election, public involvement was low and public disenchantment with politicians was high. Could these sentiments be countered to some degree by the televised debates? The following analysis addresses this general question of political engagement by focusing concretely on whether those who watched the debates had a greater propensity to vote, and to participate in other ways, such as discussing the campaign online or in person. This paper provides an analysis that seeks to address this question.

Keywords: Televised Debates, Political Debates, Political Engagement, Election, Political Participation

Suggested Citation

Dutton, William H. and Shipley, Andrew, The Role of Britain's Televised Leadership Debates in Shaping Political Engagement (September 28, 2010). LEADERS IN THE LIVING ROOM: THE PRIME MINISTERIAL DEBATES OF 2010: EVIDENCE, EVALUATION AND SOME RECOMMENDATIONS, S. Coleman, Reuter's Institute for the Study of Journalism, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1778442

William H. Dutton (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

3502 Watt Way #304
Los Angeles, CA 90089
United States

Andrew Shipley

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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