‘"Every little helps". Cyber campaigning in the 2007 Irish General Election’

Published in the Journal of Information Technology & Politics, Volume 7, Issue 4 October 2010, pages 340 - 355.

Abstract: The research presented here investigates the relationship between cyber-campaigning and the electoral fortunes of candidates in the Irish 2007 general election. In so doing we explore the extent to which previous findings in this area are generalizable by testing them in a new political context, as well as examining a hitherto unstudied aspect of Irish politics. In line with previous studies on this topic, we find a positive and statistically significant relationship between candidates having a personal website and their electoral performance. We also present a novel approach to a general problem in this field. We use data derived from odds offered by bookmakers on candidates chances of winning a seat, to examine the claim that front-runner candidates may be more likely to develop websites in anticipation of greater interest in their campaigns. We find little evidence to support this argument. Finally, we present the first analysis of whether the effects of cyber-campaigning vary in line with the technological profile of citizens across constituencies. We conclude that the impact of cyber-campaigning on votes accrued is significantly larger in constituencies with above-average levels of internet penetration.

Full paper available to download via the infomaworld website.

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