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For a few euros more: campaign spending effects in the Irish local elections of 1999

Benoit, Kenneth ORCID: 0000-0002-0797-564X and Marsh, Michael (2003) For a few euros more: campaign spending effects in the Irish local elections of 1999. Party Politics, 9 (5). pp. 561-582. ISSN 1460-3683

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Identification Number: 10.1177/13540688030095003


Although perceived by candidates and parties as important in affecting political outcomes, the link between spending and success in multi-candidate, multiparty election campaigns remains unproven. Not only are there relatively few studies of campaign spending effects in multi-party systems, there are none examining the effect under the Single Transferable Vote (STV) electoral system. Our study examines spending effects in the Irish local elections of 1999 using STV with district magnitudes between 3 and 7 seats, contested by a median of 10 candidates in each district. Using detailed data on 1,838 candidates from 180 local constituencies and 30 councils, we provide precise estimates of the relationship between campaign spending at the candidate level in each district and electoral success, including the probability of winning. In a context where spending is miniscule relative to other contexts, and takes place under a completely different electoral system, our results echo previous studies from other contexts showing a strong effect of challenger spending and only weak effects of incumbent spending. Once allowance is made for the endogeneity of incumbent spending, however, we find a much less substantial difference between the effectiveness of spending by challengers and by incumbents, except on the marginal effect of spending on the probability of winning, where challenger spending is shown to be much more important.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2003 SAGE Publications
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2013 16:21
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2024 03:39

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