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The University of Sussex

 5 Sept 2001 

Lessons to be learned from this year's General Election

How much did the media influence the outcome of this year's General Election? Of what use are party political broadcasts? How reliable are public opinion surveys in predicting the voting behaviour of the electorate?

As MPs prepare for the season of party conferences, political commentators, public opinion researchers and academics will be discussing issues raised by this year's General Election at a conference at the University of Sussex.

The EPOP 2001 Post-Election Conference will take place at the Falmer campus on September 14 to 16. EPOP stands for the Elections, Public Opinions and Parties, a specialist group of the Political Studies Association (PSA), which holds an annual conference.

Speakers and panellists will include Labour's strategist and Sussex alumnus, Philip Gould, The Times political columnist, Peter Riddell, and the BBC's deputy head of news, Mark Damazer.

Professor Paul Webb, professor of politics at Sussex and local organiser for the event, says the most interesting discussion at the conference is likely to be on the media's coverage of the election. "A large proportion of the press coverage was actually about how the media was covering the campaign. The media is becoming increasingly navel-gazing."

Other issues on the agenda include a comparison of women candidates in 1997 and 2001 and the ability of parties to change after defeat.

There will also be a focus on how the new Electoral Commission will be able to address problems such as voter apathy. Chairman of the Electoral Commission, Sam Younger, who is also chair of Sussex University's governing body, will be giving the conference's closing speech.




 Notes for editors 

For more details about the conference, see the website: http://www.psa.ac.uk/Noticeboard/psaconfs/epopprogramme.htm

Or contact Professor Paul Webb, Tel. 01273 877796 (work), 01903 883018 (home) Email: p.webb@sussex.ac.uk

Or Jacqui Bealing, or Alison Field, University of Sussex Press Office, Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, J.A.Bealing@sussex.ac.uk or A.Field@sussex.ac.uk




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