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Unsung heroes : constituency election agent in British general elections.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date11/2006
JournalBritish Journal of Politics and International Relations
Journal number4
Volume8
Number of pages18
Pages569-586
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Despite their central role in the electoral process, constituency agents have been largely overlooked by political scientists and this article seeks to rectify the omission. It sketches the origins and development of the role of agent from the late 19th century and suggests that a serious rethink of the role took place in the 1990s. Survey-based evidence about the social characteristics of agents is presented confirming that they are largely middle-aged, middle-class, well-educated men. They are also becoming more experienced, offer realistic assessments of the impact of constituency campaigning and, arguably, many take a long-term view of how their party's support can be maximised.