- A leader without a party: exploring the relationship between Geert Wilders’ leadership performance in the media and his electoral success
- Party Politics
- Volume | Issue number
- 19 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Most existing studies of leadership effects on electoral success employ survey data only. This time-series study combines a content analysis of media appearances of the right-wing populist leader Geert Wilders in 2006 with his party's popularity in the polls. The content analysis focuses on three aspects of the media coverage: (1) visibility, (2) whether he articulates a vision for the future, and (3) his self-confidence. Wilders was selected because as a leader without a party he represents the most likely case to find media effects. Var-analysis showed a significant positive effect of ‘vision’ on media attention, and a negative effect of popularity in the polls on visibility in the media. Yet, the study finds little support for the ‘leadership hypothesis', and thus contributes to literature showing that the effects of the representation of political leaders in the media are more limited than often assumed.
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