Do Web Campaigns by Party Leaders Enhance the Images of Party Leaders Held by Voters? Experimental Evidence from Finland

Tom Carlson, Göran Djupsund, Kim Strandberg

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


    This chapter examines whether exposure to the personal Websites and blogs of party leaders during an election campaign affects the perceptions held by voters regarding the traits of party leaders. Additionally, the effects of Website exposure and blog exposure are compared. The chapter presents two experiments conducted during the 2007 Finnish general elections, where the leaders of the major parties had to deal with personal image concerns in their campaigns. The experiments used authentic Websites and blogs of party leaders as stimuli and young voters as participants. In both experiments, the impressions of the traits of party leaders were measured by a semantic differential consisting of bipolar adjectives. Limited effects were found. The perceptions of two of the three leaders were not affected either by exposure to their Websites or their blogs. However, the impressions of one leader were enhanced by exposure to his Website as well as his blog. The types of traits affected by blog reading and Website exposure differed respectively. In explaining the findings, Website features, blogging approaches, and participant expectancies are considered.
    Original languageUndefined/Unknown
    Title of host publicationPolitical Campaigning in the Information Age
    EditorsAshu M. G. Solo
    PublisherIGI Publishing
    ISBN (Electronic)2328-1324
    ISBN (Print)9781466660625
    Publication statusPublished - 2014
    MoE publication typeA3 Part of a book or another research book


    • Elections
    • FINLAND -- Politics & government -- 1981-
    • POLITICAL campaigns
    • POLITICAL parties
    • Party Leaders
    • SOCIAL media -- Political aspects

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