Emotional Responses to Top Politicians in a General Election

Open access

Abstract

Voting behaviour has been studied as a specific form of individual behaviour and has primarily been seen as the result of reflection and deliberation on behalf of the individual. In general consumer behaviour research, the focus is increasingly on the seemingly unconscious and emotionally controlled processes that seem to shape a large part of consumer responses to brands, services and communication. The objective of this paper is to study the influence that emotional reactions have on voter behaviour in connection with a general election. The opportunity arose to carry out a pre- and a post-evaluation of voters’ emotional responses to 6 major party leaders. The results support the notion that constant or increasing positive emotional reaction does in fact accompany election success, whilst election failure is accompanied by decreasing levels of emotional response. The results and their implications for political marketing in the context of an election are discussed.

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