Handbook of Political Party Funding
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Handbook of Political Party Funding

Edited by Jonathan Mendilow and Eric Phélippeau

Scrutinizing a relatively new field of study, the Handbook of Political Party Funding assesses the basic assumptions underlying the research, presenting an unequalled variety of case studies from diverse political finance systems.
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Chapter 3: Party election expenditure election effects: national vs district level and the regulatory challenges

Justin Fisher

Abstract

The effects of party expenditure on electoral outcomes can be analysed at a variety of levels, such as national and district. Using the example of Great Britain, where extensive research has been undertaken, this chapter illustrates that while the evidence for national-level expenditure effects is less conclusive, there is clear and consistent evidence that district-level spending delivers electoral payoffs. The chapter goes on to illustrate how national- and district-level spending has become increasingly integrated, such that the stand-alone national campaign no longer exists. Rather, its purpose is principally to support campaigns in the districts. This creates regulatory challenges, but without easy solutions. As a consequence, the chapter suggests that in spite of these challenges, regulatory changes in response to the increasing integration of campaigns may produce worse outcomes than the maintenance of the status quo.

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