Finding the political marketing identity of a heterogeneous market: The case of the European Parliament election

Tommy Alexander Lund

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

In May 2014, over 120 million voters went and elected a new parliament for the European Union (EU). The turnout was 42.54%, and therefore provided a huge potential in marketing the election for new segments of voters in the EU. In terms of political marketing, this is a unique opportunity in which to test new ideas and strategies in a common market that is so divided, yet so connected at the same time. Thus, the objective of this research was to determine if this political market shared a common identity with general elections that could be used to promote the democratic values of an election, and therefore also ensure that more people find their way to the voting booths. To do so, the research approach chosen was deductive/pragmatic, with an independent in-depth interview sample to provide for the arguments and test the chosen proposition. To create an academic framework which measures the different countries’ potential and standing when it comes to the potential for political marketing, it was necessary to create a new model, (IDSCT), built on the specifications suitable for this thesis. The idea of the IDSCT model was based on the theoretical framework of the PEST model, which provided the framework to fairly place the different countries into similar categories before starting with the analysis. The research question itself and the proposition upon which it is built is based on three academic categories which define a political identity. These are political marketing, voter behaviour and voter turnout. The last two categories were also influenced by the result of the IDSCT model. To compare more easily the results, the nations were divided into three segments that were compared to each other by the results of the in-depth interviews. The results showed that a gap emerges between how the political parties and the voters approach the European elections. Furthermore there seems to be no initiative from the national political parties to actually adopt their traditions and culture towards the issues that are under the control of the European Parliament (EP). The political marketing identity in Europe seems to be based on the culture of the national election. As a result, there is a deviation between voters and political actors since the former does not see the meaning and/or effect of the European Parliamentary election. This again leads towards a downward spiral with fewer and fewer voters participating that further encourages the political parties to focus on national elections. To a small degree the decision to vote is not based around issues surrounding the EP, but rather on cultural partisanship or protesting at establishment as a whole.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages138