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Europe in QuestionReferendums on European Integration$
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Sara Binzer Hobolt

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199549948

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549948.001.0001

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Campaign Effects in Referendums

Campaign Effects in Referendums

(p.84) 4 Campaign Effects in Referendums
Europe in Question

Sara Binzer Hobolt (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how the campaign context influences voting behaviour in referendums on Europe. Based on analysis of media coverage, opinion polls, and elite polarization, the chapter evaluates how the campaign context shapes political participation and vote choices. The key finding is that as the intensity of the referendum campaign increases, voters will rely more heavily on sophisticated criteria, such as attitudes and issue position, and political elites will find it more difficult to persuade citizens to vote a certain way. Moreover, intense campaigns also mobilize individuals to participate in referendums. Hence, the campaign environment in EU referendums acts as both an informer and a mobilizer and influences patterns of behaviour.

Keywords:   campaign, context, intensity, media, mobilization, political parties, polarization, referendum, turnout, voting behaviour

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