Dynamic Political Rhetoric: Electoral, Economic, and Partisan Determinants of Speech-Making in the UK Parliament

Kira Killermann, Sven-Oliver Proksch

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    Abstract

    Parliamentary debate is one major outlet for Members of Parliament (MPs), who spend lots of time preparing for and participating in such discussions. In this paper, we investigate in how far the focus MPs choose in their speeches varies as the economic, partisan and electoral context changes. We choose to study the dynamics nature of speech content in the UK House of Commons, as British MPs enjoy broad discretion regarding the content of their speeches. This paper analyses the constituency, national or partisan focus of all speeches held in the House of Commons between January 1996 and September 2004. We find that government and opposition MPs react differently to contextual changes. Government MPs generally have a higher district focus, which is increased further when the local economy declines and when the governing party becomes more popular.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Sep 2013
    Event7th ECPR General Conference 2013 - Sciences Po Bordeaux, Domaine Universitaire, Bordeaux, France
    Duration: 4 Sep 20137 Sep 2013

    Conference

    Conference7th ECPR General Conference 2013
    CountryFrance
    CityBordeaux
    Period4/09/137/09/13

    Keywords

    • METIS-301615
    • IR-88916

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    Killermann, K., & Proksch, S-O. (2013). Dynamic Political Rhetoric: Electoral, Economic, and Partisan Determinants of Speech-Making in the UK Parliament. Paper presented at 7th ECPR General Conference 2013, Bordeaux, France.