The Supply Side
This project maps and analyzes the supply side of elections and, in collaboration with the other projects in this research program, how parties and candidates interact with voters and the mass media. The Supply Side addresses classic and novel research questions on the dynamics in parties’ issue emphasis and party position-taking, the focus of parties on their leaders, and how parties deal with their rivals and with track records. A major effort is devoted to studying the candidates' and constituency parties’ campaign strategies 'on the ground'.
In the current funding period (2013–2015), the Supply Side focuses on the parties' and candidates' behavior in the 2013 general election campaign. For this purpose, it collects data that jointly provide a comprehensive overview of political supply, mainly via detailed quantitative analyses of (a) party manifestos, (b) party leader statements in the news media, (c) party press releases and other party communications and interviews with party campaign managers. Moreover, the research team is in charge of the 2013 survey of all parliamentary candidates.
Researchers of the Supply Side are particularly interested in the dynamics of party and candidate behavior in the election campaign. They analyze the parties' emphasis of policy issues, their track record and their engagement in negative campaigning over the course of the election campaign. In line with most of the current research on parties, the research team also analyzes party behavior in the long run by comparing parties over several electoral cycles.