UK Election Analysis 2019: Media, Voters and the Campaign

JVL Introduction

Published within ten days of the election we have this mammoth collection of 85 contributions from over 100 leading UK and international academics.

We haven’t assessed it in any detail but welcome your comments on it – especially recommendations of particularly insightful contributions.

This article was originally published by UK Election Analysis on Mon 23 Dec 2019. Read the original here.

UK Election Analysis 2019: Media, Voters and the Campaign

Featuring 85 contributions from over 100 leading UK and international academics, this publication captures the immediate thoughts, reflections and early research insights on the 2019 UK General Election from the cutting edge of media and politics research.

Published 10 days after the election, these contributions are short and accessible. Authors provide authoritative analysis of the campaign, including research findings or new theoretical insights; to bring readers original ways of understanding the campaign. Contributions also bring a rich range of disciplinary influences, from political science to cultural studies, journalism studies to psychology.

We hope this makes for a vibrant, informative and engaging read.


Introduction (Dan Jackson, Einar Thorsen, Darren Lilleker and Nathalie Weidhase)

Truth, lies and civic culture

1. Delusions of democracy (Natalie Fenton)
2. What’s the election communication system like now? (Jay Blumler)
3. The rules of the campaign found wanting (Alan Renwick)
4. Sorry, not sorry: hubris, hate and the politics of shame (Karen Ross)
5. The “coarsening” of campaigns (Dan Stevens, Susan Banducci, Laszlo Horvath and André Krouwel)
6. Online hate and the “nasty” election (Helen Margetts and Bertie Vidgen)
7. GE2019 was not a Brexit election: trust and credibility, anti-politics and populism (Matt Flinders)
8. The online public shaming of political candidates in the 2019 general election (Mark Wheeler)
9. Strategic lying: the new game in town (Ivor Gaber)
10. Fact-checkers’ attempts to check rhetorical slogans and misinformation (Jen Birks)
11. The election where British fourth estate journalism moved closer to extinction (Aeron Davis)
12. Rethinking impartiality in an age of political disinformation (Stephen Cushion)
13. Fake news, emotions, and social media (Karin Wahl-Jorgensen)
14. Unleashing optimism in an age of anxiety (Candida Yates)

Voters, polls and results

15. Boris’s missing women (Jessica Smith)
16. An expected surprise? An evaluation of polls and seat forecasts during the campaign (Matt Wall and Jack Tudor)
17. Unprecedented interest or more of the same? Turnout in the 2019 election (Ron Johnston and Charles Pattie)
18. Cartographic perspectives of the 2019 General Election (Benjamin Hennig)
19. Tactical voting advice sites (Chris Hanretty)
20. Another election, another disappointment: Young people vote left and are left behind at GE2019 (James Sloam and Matt Henn)
21. Divided we fall: Was Nigel Farage the kingmaker of the Johnson victory? (Pippa Norris)

The Nations

22. A renewed electoral pitch for independence in Wales (Siim Trumm)
23. “It’s the constitution, eejit”: Scotland and the agenda wars (Michael Higgins)
24. Gender takes to the shade in Scotland (Fiona McKay)
25. The election in Northern Ireland: A eoute back to Stormont? (Jonathan Tonge)
26. ‘Remain alliance’ win the BBC Northern Ireland Leaders’ debate (online at least) (Paul Reilly)

Parties and the campaign

27. Something old, something new, something borrowed, something EU (Russell Foster)
28. ‘Weak and wobbly’ to ‘get Brexit done’: 2019 and Conservative campaigns (Anthony Ridge-Newman)
29. Conservative victories in Labour heartlands in the 2019 General Election (Peter Reeves)
30. Corbyn and Johnson’s strategic narratives on the campaign trail (Pawel Surowiec, Victoria Copeland and Nathan Olsen)
31. More Blimp, less Gandhi: the Corbyn problem (Darren Lilleker)
32. The Media and the Manifestos: why 2019 wasn’t 2017 redux for the Labour party (Mike Berry)
33. Down a slippery rope… is Britain joining the global trends towards right-wing populism? (Mona Moufahim)
34. The Brexit Party’s impact – if any (Pete Dorey)
35. Farage: Losing the battle to win the war (Pippa Norris)
36. Party election broadcasts… actually? (Vincent Campbell)
37. GE 2019: lessons for political branding (Jenny Lloyd)
38. The postmodern election (Barry Richards)

Policy and strategy

39. The uses and abuses of the left-right distinction in the campaign (Jonathan Dean)
40. Entitlement and incoherence: Centrist ‘bollocks’ (Matthew Johnson)
41. Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit, but the pursuit of power (Thom Brooks)
42. What ever happened to euroscepticism? (Simon Usherwood)
43. Immigration in the 2019 General Election Campaign (Kerry Moore)
44. Immigration in party manifestos: threat or resource? (Elena-Alina Dolea)
45. Foreign Policy in the 2019 election (Victoria Honeyman)
46. Post-Brexit ‘Global Britain’ as the theatre of the New Cold War (Roman Gerodimos)
47. The Rorschach Election: How the US narrates UK politics (Victor Pickard)
48. If everyone has a mandate… surely nobody has a mandate? (Mark Shephard)
49. The climate election that wasn’t (David McQueen)
50. Is this a climate election (yet)? (Jenny Alexander)
51. Movement-led electoral communication: Extinction Rebellion and party policy in the media (Abi Rhodes)

The digital campaign

52. Digital campaign regulation: more urgent than ever? (Kate Dommett and Sam Power)
53. Did the Conservatives embrace social media in 2019? (Richard Fletcher)
54. GE2019 – Labour owns the Tories on Instagram, the latest digital battlefield (Matt Walsh)
55. Spot the difference: how Nicola Sturgeon and Jo Swinson self-represented on Twitter (Sally Osei-Appiah)
56. “Go back to your student politics”? Momentum, the digital campaign, and what comes next (James Dennis and Susana Sampaiao Dias)
57. Taking the tube (Alec Charles)
58. The politics of deletion in social media campaigns (Marco Bastos)
59. “Behind the curtain of the targeting machine”: Political parties A/B testing in action (Tristan Hotham)
60. Against opacity, outrage & deception in digital political campaigning (Vian Bakir and Andrew McStay)
61. The explosion of the public sphere (Martin Moore and Gordon Ramsay)
62. Big chickens, dumbfakes, squirrel killers: was 2019 the election where ‘shitposing’ went mainstream? (Rosalynd Southern)

News and journalism

63. Time to fix our TV debates (Nick Anstead)
64. What was all that about, then? The media agenda in the 2019 General Election (David Deacon et al)
65. Pluralism or partisanship? Calibrating punditry on BBC2’s Politics Live (James Morrison)
66. Hero and villain: the media’s role in identity management (Jagon Chichon)
67. Traditional majoritarian conceptions of UK politics pose a dilemma for the media in elections (Louise Thompson)
68. GE2019: A tale of two elections? (Aljosha Karim Schapals)
69. Boxing clever: negotiating gender in campaign coverage during the 2019 General Election (Emily Harmer)
70. Press distortion of public opinion polling: what can, or should, be done? (Steve Barnett)
71. The final verdict: patterns of press partisanship (Dominic Wring and David Deacon)
72. The class war election (Des Freedman)
73. An uncertain future for alternative online media? (Declan McDowell-Naylor and Richard Thomas)

Personality politics and pop culture

74. Tune in, turn away, drop out: Emotionality and the decision not to stand (Beth Johnson and Katy Parry)
75. Last fan standing: Jeremy Corbyn supporters in the 2019 General Election (Cornell Sandvoss)
76. Linguistic style in the Johnson vs Corbyn televised debates of the 2019 General Election campaign (Sylvia Shaw)
77. Order! Order! The Speaker, celebrity politics and ritual performance (Marcel Broersma)
78. What is Boris Johnson? (John Street)
79. Creating Boris: Nigel Farage and the 2019 election (Neil Ewen)
80. Boris the Clown: the Effective Performance of Incompetence (Lone Sorensen)
81. Political humour and the problem of taking Boris seriously (Andrew Glencross)
82. Joking: uses and abuses of humour in the election campaign (Sophie Quirk, Tom Sharkey and Ed Wilson)
83. The problem with satirising the election (Allaina Kilby)
84. Sounding Off: music and musicians’ interventions in the 2019 election campaign (Adam Behr)
85. Stormzy, status, and the serious business of social media spats (Ellen Watts)

Comments (5)

  • Michael Westcombe says:

    OK. I have had a skim through.

    How many forests have died, for this selection of trite and shallow essays? If this is the best Accademia has to offer, it is no wonder that our Governments are so very incompetent. It would be hilarious, if it were not so tragic.

    May I suggest, for an insight into the nature of this recent “democratic” event, that your readers have a look at the this article, by Bill Mitchell:

  • Glyn Secker says:

    Eighty-five interesting high quality papers, but a huge elephant in the room: antisemitism gets one brief paragraph and a few passing mentions. There is no analysis of how and why a moral panic was created by defining Jeremy Corbyn as an antisemite and the Labour party as institutionally antisemitic, establishing a national narrative that they posed a threat to society and its values. This was a significant component in Labour’s defeat. We came across it on the doorsteps, expressed in many forms, time and again. It is tempting to observe that turning a Nelson’s eye to this narative might indicate a deference to the power of its propagators.

  • Ruby Lescott says:

    Number 76; depressing analysis of the debates which confirms one’s impression as a viewer. Given our adversarial system in politics as well as law, despite wishing it was otherwise, we have to face up to the need for the next leader to be on top of this. Skills learnt in the debating clubs of Eton have to be mastered by us. I would guess that the general public form their opinions of the leaders and the policies mostly from the big set piece debates – furious as I am with the Guardian, I don’t think we can say it was the Guardian wot won it. Most people are not, sadly, immersed in politics as we are and they make decisions based on little information. Whether we like it or not, we now have a presidential system.

  • Gerry Glude says:

    Prof Darren Lilleker says that Labour policy on a confirmatory referendum was unclear but fails to identify examples of what was unclear. He claims it, and therfore in his view it must be true. Further on he says “many working class voters took to twitter….”. How does he know they are working class? How does he know that they are even in the UK? Were they actually trolls who were placed to influence others?

    The argument seems very thin. I have just read some random papers none of which appear to be more than personal opinion

  • Dorothy says:

    My favourite so far is Adam Ramsay at Open Democracy.

Comments are now closed.