Performance, Politics, and Media: How the 2010 British General Election Leadership Debates Generated "Talk" Among the Electorate

Richard Scullion, Dan Jackson, Mike Molesworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

During the British General Election 2010, a major innovation was introduced in part to improve engagement: A series of three live-televised leadership debates took place in which the leader of each of the three main parties-Labour, Liberal Democrat, and Conservative-answered questions posed by members of the public and subsequently debated issues pertinent to the questions. In this study, we consider these potentially ground-breaking debates as the kind of event that was likely to generate discussion. We investigate various aspects of the "talk" that emerged as a result of watching the debates. As an exploratory study concerned with situated accounts of the participants' experiences, we take an interpretive perspective. In this paper we outline the meta-narratives (of talk) associated with the viewing of the leadership debates that were identified, concluding our analysis by suggesting that putting a live debate on television and promoting and positioning it as a major innovation is likely to mean that is how the audience will make sense of it: as a media event.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-243
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Political Marketing
Volume12
Issue number2-3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • leadership debate
  • media event
  • political talk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Marketing

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