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Justin Fisher, David Denver and Gordon Hands, "Party Membership and Campaign Activity in Britain: The Impact of Electoral Performance," Party Politics, 12 (July, 2006), 505-519.

First Paragraph:
A substantial body of literature has demonstrated that effective constituency election campaigns can have significant electoral payoffs for political parties (Denver and Hands, 1997, 1998; Denver et al., 2002; Pattie et al., 1995; Whiteley and Seyd, 1994, 2003). In part, this has been due to greater involvement by the parties' central headquarters in planning and managing constituency campaigns (Fisher et al., 2006), but it remains clear, nonetheless, that parties need active members on the ground and good local organization if they are to mount effective campaigns at the constituency level. But what determines levels of local membership and activity? A number of recent studies have suggested that these may be significantly affected by previous electoral success or failure in the constituency concerned. gislative' maneuvers, the 'legislators' engage in their own form of hyperbole, threats and verbal flexing. Indeed, Hulk Hogan would be proud.

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Mean number of party members per constituency, 1992-2001
Table 2. Mean percent of electorate covered by active campaign organization, 1992-2001
Table 3. Correlations between size of membership and extent of local activity, 1992-2001
Table 4. Correlations between party membership, campaign activity and the socio-economic characteristics of constituencies, 2001
Table 5. Partial correlations: membership and activity levels in 2001 and percentage majority in 1997 (controlling for membership and activity in 1997
Table 6. The impact of 1997 election outcomes on party membership and activity 200
Table 7. The impact of 1997 marginality and electoral outcomes on party membership and campaign activity 200
Table 8. Short-term and long-term electoral impacts on membership and campaign activity 2001

Last Paragraph:
What we have shown here is that any such spiral can be broken by a single election in which there is a sharp reversal of previous results. The performance of parties in constituencies during the years of Conservative dominance between 1979 and 1992 appears to have had no impact on their membership and activity in 2001. In contrast, the constituency outcomes of the 1997 election generally had clear and significant short-term effects. If Whiteley and Seyd are correct, then the 1997 election may have started a new spiral. We may expect the changes to constituency status consequent upon the 1997 election to have a long-term impact on the health and activity of local parties - at least until another election sees a sharp reversal of the parties' fortunes.