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Delia Dumitrescu, "The importance of being present: Election posters as signals of electoral strength, evidence from France and Belgium," Party Politics, 18 (November, 2012), 941-960. [Available at http://ppq.sagepub.com/content/vol18/issue6/ ]

First paragraph:
Why do parties and candidates spend money on poster campaigns in national elections? Posters are seen as 'exceptionally important' by a significant number of political consultants worldwide (Plasser and Plasser, 2002: 295), and, according to available expenditure data, spending on election poster activities (i.e. production and field implementation costs, such as the costs of putting them up, replacing them, etc.) takes up as much as 20 percent and more of campaign communication budgets in France, Belgium, Germany and Ireland (Dumitrescu, 2009).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Survey sample characteristics
Table 2. Importance of posters in the campaign
Table 3. Dependent variable: importance of posters as signals (bootstrap estimates)
Table 4. Dependent variable: posters' importance in convincing undecided voters (bootstrap estimates)
Figure 1. Distribution of bootstrap estimates of the 'signalling' coefficient by country and party status.
Figure 2. Distribution of bootstrap estimates of the 'informing' coefficient by country and party status.
Table 5. Dependent variable: posters' importance in convincing leaning and undecided voters (bootstrap estimates)
Table 6. Dependent variable: importance of posters in close contests (bootstrap estimates)

Last Paragraph:
(Next to last paragraph) This study corroborates previous research on local campaigns (e.g. Denver et al., 2003; Fisher and Denver, 2008; Pattie and Johnston, 2009) to make a persuasive case that parties spare no effort in sending their message on all available channels. This is an important insight particularly for the behaviour of candidates and parties with high probabilities of winning the election. Unlike previously assumed, most poster activities do not originate from those deprived of campaign funding; in fact, the lion's share in the quest for visual dominance belongs to those candidates and parties that can, and often do, monopolize the media as well. Just as major parties attempt to make the news, thereby offering themselves additional advertising, so do they strategically attempt to put their visual imprint on people's neighbourhoods to signal the winning strength of their party.

Last updated November 2012