Congratulations to NewPolCom’s Dr. Sofia Collignon, who has won a British Academy / Leverhulme Small Grant for her new project, Causes and consequences of harassment and intimidation of candidates standing in local elections.
Every year, candidates for elections are subject to harassment. Recent evidence suggests that harassment in UK elections is increasing. A recent survey of candidates standing in the 2017 General Election found that 32% had suffered some form of intimidation (Collignon et al 2017). Further research is urgently needed to understand the causes and consequences of harassment in political life. Crucially, is harassment limited to the high stakes political competition in a General Election or has it become a more pervasive phenomenon found at all levels of electoral politics? The project will contribute to our understanding of this important problem by analysing the experience of harassment and intimidation of candidates who stood in the local elections in England on 2 May 2019. Are some candidates more vulnerable to harassment and intimidation than others? What are the most frequent and harmful forms of harassment? What is its impact on political representation? And what can be done about it?