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Drowned Out by the Noise? The Downstream Mobilisation Effects of Party Campaigning between Local and General Elections

  • Joshua Townsley (a1)


Campaign experiments often report positive effects on voter turnout. But do these effects endure at subsequent elections? Existing studies provide mixed evidence on downstream effects, and the rate at which initial mobilisation effects decay. This paper contributes to existing research by presenting a pre-registered analysis of downstream effects in a unique experimental setting. I test whether effects from a UK partisan experiment in a low turnout election in May 2017 persisted at the high turnout general election a month later. The findings show that in this short space of time, the original turnout effects virtually disappeared, suggesting that downstream effects resulting from campaign experiments can be quickly subsumed by the high saliency of subsequent elections.



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The author has no conflict of interest to declare. The data, code, and any additional materials required to replicate all analyses in this article are available at the Journal of Experimental Political Science Dataverse within the Harvard Dataverse Network, at: doi:



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Townsley, Joshua. 2018. Is It Worth Door-knocking? Evidence from a UK-Based GOTV Field Experiment on the Effect of Party Leaflets and Canvass Visits on Voter Turnout. Political Science Research and Methods, 115. doi:10.1017/psrm.2018.39.


Type Description Title
Supplementary materials

Townsley Dataset

Supplementary materials

Townsley supplementary material
Online Appendix

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