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Daphne van der Pas, Catherine de Vries, and Wouter van der Brug, "A leader without a party: Exploring the relationship between Geert Wilders' leadership performance in the media and his electoral success," Party Politics, 19 (May 2013), 458-476. [Available at ]

First paragraph:
The role of party leaders in modern democracies has been the subject of much debate within political science in recent years. Marked transitions in representative democracies, such as individualization and the decline of traditional ideological cleavages, have changed the role of political parties (Katz and Mair, 1994). Over recent decades the erosion of the traditional political party organization has forced parties to change their focus from relying on their members during a campaign to more media-centred activities. One by-product of this development is the gaining prominence of party leaders. Scholarly work argues that party leaders and their individual personalities are critical in determining the success of parties (see, e.g., Katz and Mair, 1994; Mughan, 2000; Poguntke and Webb, 2005; Stewart and Clarke, 2009).

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. Combination of LIWC dimensions into 'leadership performance' variables.
Figure 1. Graphic representation of relations studied in the VAR model.
Figure 2. Percentage of voters intending to vote forWilders and his media visibility per week, 2006.
Figure 3. Vision and self-confidence of Geert Wilders per week, 2006.
Table 2. VAR regression models on visibility and public support for Geert Wilders, 2006.
Appendix A: Complete results with barometer data
Appendix B: Results with data

Last Paragraph:
Many scholars assume that the mediatization of politics would lead to an increased importance of leadership characteristics on party choice (e.g. Katz and Mair, 1994; Mughan, 2000; Poguntke and Webb, 2005; Stewart and Clarke, 2009). This study contributes to this literature by showing that the effects of the representation of political leaders in the media are more limited than often assumed (e.g. Gidengil and Blais, 2007; King, 2002).

Last updated November 2013