Insights from the UK and beyond
from The Great Debate UK:
A study of constituency-level campaign techniques undertaken by Brunel University ahead of a general election expected in early May shows that direct mail is by far the most common method of contact used by politicians to reach potential voters.
Of the 27 percent of the electorate contacted by one of the three main political parties in February, about 90 percent received some form of communication through the post via direct mail, the study shows. Some 92 percent said they had been reached through mailings from the Liberal Democrats, 89 percent from the Conservative Party and 81 percent from the Labour Party.
Although a lot of people have spoken about this being the first new media election in the UK, and there is some evidence of email and Facebook being used, traditional campaign methods are still dominant, says Justin Fisher, director of the Magna Carta Society at Brunel University in West London.
"What we can say about social media is that it may enhance or complement more traditional forms of campaigning, but the idea that it's going to replace traditional campaigning at least at this stage is very wide of the mark," Fisher said.