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The Influence Of Political Party Supporters On The Success Of The Party Candidate Election

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the study

A political party is an organized collection of individuals with a unique name and perhaps an abbreviation who recruit, train, and field candidates for election to empty public posts by qualified electorates through the constitutional methods of periodic election. Political parties are essential in a democratic system, and the importance of their duties cannot be overstated (Akinboye,2015). Traditional concepts of party membership have come under attack in recent years in various countries, with non-members or supporters playing major roles in party activities traditionally associated with official party members (Cross and Gauja, 2014a, Scarrow, 2015). Parties are finding it more difficult to retain membership groups, so they’re experimenting with new organizational forms to create relationships with people who aren’t members (Scarrow, 2015). This has manifested itself in a variety of ways, including participation in election campaigning, candidate and leader selection (including primaries), online policy deliberation, and even policy formation, prompting one author to propose a framework to catalog these developments, based on distinct boundaries in terms of what activities supporters may or may not participate in (Mjelde, 2015). This goes well beyond Duverger’s (1954) concentric rings of growing connection and engagement, in which the distinction between supporters and members becomes progressively blurred. There are a variety of reasons behind this. In the case of Israel, Rahat et al. (2014) claim that de-alignment between voters and parties is hastening the availability of chances for supporters, while Sandri and Seddone (2015: 25) refer to dwindling party membership and the diminishing role of cleavage politics. Indeed, according to Gauja (2015b), this may indicate a change in political parties, which are now defining and structuring themselves “in terms of individual people rather than group interests.” In terms of supporter activity, election campaigning is extremely crucial. For example, Rahat et al. (2014) discover that in the Israeli instance, parties prioritize recruiting supporters before elections, but Fisher et al. (2014) show that supporter engagement in election campaigns is widespread in the British case. Analyzing district-level campaigns in the 2010 general election, they discovered that supporters were participating in a considerable share of campaigns (about three quarters) (Fisher et al., 2014). Not only that, but the fans’ engagement was not insignificant. Supporters participated in around two-thirds of the activities that members did. The main difference was between high- and low-intensity engagement — supporters were much less likely to participate in pre-election voter contact, such as door-to-door canvassing and phone calls. Indeed, the data echoed the experience in Australia, where the difference between members and supporters is ‘basically irrelevant’ in key campaigning activities such as leaflet distribution (Cross and Gauja, 2014b). Supporters, on the other hand, were not just extra hands, replicating the job of members. Supporter activities augmented, not replaced, the actions of members. In conclusion, Fisher et al. (2014) demonstrated that supporters contributed independently and positively to the campaigns of all three major parties. Many political parties in a variety of countries obviously value their supporters. However, significantly less research has been done to understand the impact of political party followers on the election success of party candidates.

1.2       Statement of the problem

Political parties are defined by its philosophy and manifesto, in addition to being registered organizations with a distinctive name or acronym. “Ideology is usually a critical component of political parties and their actions” (Omotola, 2009). Political party funding has the potential to skew the election process and is a common source of high-level corruption. Corruption of this kind is a major issue in a number of nations, both developed and developing. The absence of legal sources of income, such as business, trade unions, and party membership, combined with costly and antidemocratic party operations, such as vote buying, creates specific incentives for corrupt financing in developing nations. The importance of party followers in the election of party candidates cannot be overstated, since parties cannot undertake campaigns without the assistance of its members and supporters (Sandri,2015). Elections are won, however, because of the influence of party members who work tirelessly for the success of the party; however, there are several factors that limit the extent to which party members contribute to the success, such as inequality in dividend distribution after elections, corruption, and so on. As a result, there is a need to investigate the impact of political party followers on the election success of party candidates.

1.3       Objective of the study

The primary objective of the study is as follows

1)        To examine the factors responsible for people joining a political party.

2)        To examine the challenges party members face in campaigning for their party candidate.

3)        To find out the importance of party members in winning an election for the party.

4)        To make recommendation on how party members can utilize the support of their party members in winning election.

1.4       Research Questions

The following questions have been prepared for the study

  1. What are the factors responsible for people joining a political party?
  2. What  are the challenges party members face in campaigning for their party candidate?
  3. What are the importance of party members in winning an election for the party?
  4. What recommendation can be on how party members can utilize the support of their party members in winning election?

1.5       Significance of the study

This study focuses on  influence of political party supporters on the success of the party candidate  election. Hence the study is significant to political party as they will see the importance of having the support of party members in other to win elections.

The study is significant to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6       Scope of the study

The study will examine the factors responsible for people joining a political party. The study will also examine the challenges party members face in campaigning for their party candidate. The study will further find out the importance of party members in winning an election for the party. Lastly, the study will make recommendation on how party members can utilize the support of their party members in winning election. Hence this study is delimited to the peoples democratic party(PDP) Lagos state.

1.7       Limitation of the study

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

 just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by  the researcher ,in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

1.8       Definition of terms

Political party:  an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country’s elections.

REFERENCES

Akinboye, S. O. & Anifowose, R. (2015). “Nigerian Government and Politics” in Anifowose, R. & Enemuo, F. (eds). Elements of Politics, 2nd Edition. Bariga: Lagos, Sam Iroanusi Publications.

Cross W and Gauja A (2014b) Exploring the relationship between members, supporters, groups and intra-party decision-makingin Australia. Paper presented at Workshop on “Contemporary Meanings of Party Membership,” European Consortium for Political Research’ Joint Sessions of Workshops, 10–15 April2014, University of Salamanca, Spain

Duverger M (1954) Political Parties: Their Organisation andActivity in the Modern State. London: Methuen

Fisher J, Fieldhouse E and Cutts D (2014) Members are not theonly fruit: volunteer activity in British political parties at the2010 general election. The British Journal of Politics andInternational Relations 16(1): 75–95

Gauja A (2015c) The construction of party membership.European Journal of Political Research 54: 232–248

Mjelde H (2015) Non-member participation political parties: aframework for analysis and selected empirical examples fromScandinavia. Representation 51(3): 299–310

Omotola, J. S. (2009). Nigerian Parties and Political Ideology. Journal of Alternative Perspectives in the Social Sciences, 1(3), 612-634.

Rahat G, Kenig O and Tuttnauer O (2014) Shifting political sands:when politicians, voters and [even] party members are on themove. Paper presented at workshop on “Contemporary Meanings of Party Membership,” European Consortium for Political Research’ Joint Sessions of Workshops, 10–15 April 2014,University of Salamanca, Spain

Sandri G and Seddone A (2015) Sense or sensibility? Politicalattitudes and voting behaviour of party members, voters andsupporters of the Italian centre-left. Italian Political ScienceReview/ Rivista Italiana di Scienza 45(1): 25–51.

Scarrow S (2015) Beyond Party Members. Changing Approachesto Partisan Mobilisation. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Seyd P and Whiteley P (1992) Labour’s Grassroots. Oxford:Clarendon.Seyd P and Whit

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