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Medias roll i valkampanjer : En studie av den franska presidentvalskampanjen 2007

by Chaveroche, Beatrice

Abstract (Summary)

Since the 1970s voting behaviour has changed. Party identification and class voting has declined. As the electorate becomes more volatile, campaign strategy and party image becomes essential. Political communication and mass media now play an important role in election campaigns. Therefore, researchers take an interest in the impact of media on public opinion. The agenda-setting theory maintains that media influence what voters think about and that there is a link between media coverage and voting intentions.

This minor thesis focuses on the early election campaign prior to the French presidential election in 2007. For the first time, the socialist party organised a primary election in order to nominate their candidate. The aim is to study if media has an impact on public opinion in election campaigns. To reach the aim, I posed the two following research questions: Did the primary election of the socialist party result in higher media coverage of the party than of other political parties? If the media favoured the socialist party during this time, did this have an impact on the voting intentions for the socialist candidate Ségolène Royal? 

In order to reach the aim and answer the questions, I performed a quantitative study. I measured the media coverage of the different political parties in the newspapers during the socialist primary campaign, to find out if the socialist party was favoured by the media. The primary source of information was the two French newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro, complemented by opinion polls performed by the institute Ipsos.

The results show that the socialist party was privileged by the press coverage prior to the presidential election. The newspapers wrote more and longer articles about the socialist party than of any other political party at the time of this study. At the same time, voting intentions for Ségolène Royal increased. The media exposure seems to have had a short effect on the public opinion in favour of the socialist candidate. By the results of this study, I conclude that the socialist party was able to influence the agenda-setting in the media by organizing primary elections. I find support for the hypothesis that media coverage during an election campaign has an effect on public opinion.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Växjö universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:voting behaviour agenda setting election campaign elections france political science statsvetenskap

ISBN:

Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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