There are many factors that affect voting behaviour such as, the voters age, the voter gender, or even where they’ve been bought up. The election campaign is the months before the general election where various parties try and get as much support as possible. Some may argue that the campaign is now more important than the long term factors which shaped voting behaviour. It can be argued that the election campaign is now more important than long term factors in shaping voting behaviour is because it shows off the personality of the party leader and the party itself to its full potential. This allows the voters get a sense of what the party is really like as it enables the voter to assess the competence of a party. This is useful as it helps the voter to make rational decision. For example, right now there is an election campaign running and Nigel Farrage the leader of UKIP has made a statement like this: “we cannot treat you for breast cancer, we cannot treat you for prostate cancer, we haven’t got the money…We’re prepared to give them the drugs for being HIV positive you then get yourself into a situation where you ask yourself a question: is the job of the National Health Service to look after people here or is it to be an international health service?”. Many people would be outraged by this and may disagree with him, this is because they disagree with the parties ideas, and this shows the party in its true light and help people make a rational and pragmatic decision when it comes to voting in the general election. Therefore, this shows election campaigns as playing a big role in shaping voting behaviour.
Another reason as to why it can be argued that the election campaign is now more important than long term factors in shaping voting behaviour is because in this time period the issuing and the publishing of party manifestos occurs. This is important because it sets out the beliefs and ideas of a particular party. This allows the voter to make a rational choice. This includes issue voting, which is the idea that people vote for the party whose policies will benefit them the best. Valence issues such as the economy and health are judged by voters on trust and competence, with results from the 1997, 2001 and 2005 elections showing voters believe Labour are more likely to deliver a healthy economy and health system than Conservatives. The party manifestos, brings in more voters as