Data-driven fieldwork is rapidly emerging as a significant form of election campaigning in Australia. The recent double dissolution campaign set a new high water mark, with no fewer than six separate fieldwork campaigns conducted by political parties, independent candidates and third-party organisations.
What did they do? And did it have any effect? To help answer such questions, as part of a wider study of fieldwork campaigning in Australian elections, this blog pulls together the claims made by the various campaign organisations about their fieldwork efforts. (The data comes from a variety of scattered sources, and there are still a few gaps, so additions and corrections are welcome.)
In ‘data-driven fieldwork’ – also called Obama-style micro-targeting - the older traditions of grassroots community organising and personal narrative are combined with still-emerging applications of digital information and communications technologies, in order to achieve ever more efficient targeting of messages at persuadable voters.
It is both capital- and labour-intensive. So to understand what is going on,Read more: Measuring Fieldwork
'The Professionals' wins Henry Mayer book prize
Thanks to the Australian Political Studies Association, 'The Professionals' has been awarded the Henry Mayer Book Prize for Australian Politics 2015. The Prize, awarded biennially, recognises the best book on Australian politics (including political history) published during the previous two years. The award was announced at APSA's annual conference at the University of Canberra in September 2015.
Henry Mayer was a giant in Australian political studies. Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney 1969-84, Mayer essentialy founded and pioneered the study of Australian elections and of media communications. His edited book Labor to Power: Australia's 1972 Election (Angus and Robertson 1973) was the first national election study published in this country - a landmark event. The Professionals follows in its wake, so it's a deep honour to have my work recognised in this way.
- Stephen Mills, October 2015
See details of the Award at the APSA website
See publication details of The Professional at the Black Inc website
See Henry Mayer's biography in the Australian Dictionary of Biography
"The Professionals" tells the story of how Australian election campaigns and political parties have changed, from the pre-television era through to the social media/ micro-targeted campaigns of today. Who drives this change? The campaign professionals in the party head offices.
The book, based on my PhD research, is published by Black Inc. For more details: