Journal article

Negative campaigning, issue salience and vote choice: assessing the effects of the Australian Labor party's 2016 "Mediscare" campaign

Andrea Carson, Aaron J Martin, Shaun Ratcliff

Journal of Elections, Public Opinion, and Parties | Taylor & Francis (Routledge) | Published : 2020


This study contributes to the scholarship on negative campaigning, revealing the important dynamics of party and media messaging and its subsequent effects on issue salience and vote choice. Using a large-scale dataset combined with content analysis of media coverage and party press releases, we offer an innovative methodology that provides evidence showing the effect of a prominent negative campaign (“Mediscare”) launched by the centre-left Australian Labor Party during Australia’s 2016 federal election. We find political elites can influence what voters are paying attention to and, when issue salience is high, this can influence vote choice. We find Labor’s “Mediscare” had two main effects..

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University of Melbourne Researchers