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James Forrest and Gary N. Marks, "The Mass Media, Election Campaigning and Voter Response: The Australian Experience," Party Politics, 5 (January 1999), 99-114.

First Paragraph:
In a situation where contemporary election campaigns are increasingly dominated by national television, radio and press coverage, the financial resources required by political parties to mount such campaigns are considerable, and increasing. A whole new body of literature focusing on 'capital intensive politics' has developed to analyse election campaign advertising in all its forms and its impact on voters. Some of this research on the effects of the 'new-age' forms of campaigning and election advertising has been discouraging in that it suggests little significant impact on election outcomes. Others, however, argue that the effects may be understated and of critical importance in marginal seats. Certainly, research at the local constituency level indicates that the more a party spends on advertising, relative to its opponents, the more votes it wins.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1: Log-likelihood improvement to explanation of voter behaviour by inclusion of campaign related news, advertising and events in addition to other sources of voter support
Table 2: Effects of political advertising and related factors on those who considered changing their vote during the election campaign, and those who did change their vote between 1987 and 1990 (logistic regression coefficients)
Table 3: Detailed effects of political advertising and related factors on those who made up their mind how they would vote before the election campaign begun, during the last few days of the campaign, and on election day itself (logistic regression coefficients)
Appendix: Variables used in the analysis.

Last Paragraph:
Media coverage of election campaigns deals, by definition, with contemporary issues and events. These change from one election to another. For example, that Labor won the 1990 election on the preferences of Democrat and Green voters is a major reason why this study identified so many negative campaign effects on Labor's primary vote. Given that each election campaign has a unique constellation of campaign events and media interests, the challenge ahead lies in work yet to be done on different election campaigns before any definitive conclusions can be drawn about the role of the mass media during election campaigns in Australia.