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Finding a niche? Challenger parties and issue emphasis in the 2015 televised leaders' debates

Allen, Nicholas and Bara, Judith and Bartle, John (2017) 'Finding a niche? Challenger parties and issue emphasis in the 2015 televised leaders' debates.' British Journal of Politics and International Relations, 19 (4). 807 - 823. ISSN 1369-1481

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Do leaders of challenger parties adopt a ?niche? strategy in national televised debates? This paper answers this question by analysing the content of the two multiparty televised leaders? debates that took place ahead of the 2015 British general election. Using computer-aided text analysis (CATA), it provides reliable and valid measures of what the leaders said in both debates and develops our theoretical understanding of how challenger-party leaders make their pitches. It finds that the UKIP, Green, SNP and Plaid Cymru leaders all demonstrated a degree of ?nicheness? in their contributions in comparison with the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour leaders. It also finds that the challenger-party leaders placed a greater emphasis on their core concerns. Nevertheless, the debates covered much policy ground. Their structure obliged all party leaders to talk about mainstream issues.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2015 general election, British party system, challenger parties, issue emphasis, niche parties, party leaders, televised debates
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JN Political institutions (Europe) > JN101 Great Britain
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Jim Jamieson
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2017 16:48
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2020 11:15

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