Making space for leadership: the scope for politicians to choose how they respond to market research

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Leadership is an important part of democratic politics. Not only are political leaders a key focus of the political offering at election time, but they are the ones who make the final decisions as a president or prime minister with the potential to affect not just an individual country but the world. Leadership and political marketing both encompass many different activities and concepts, but this chapter focuses on how leaders respond to one aspect of political marketing, market research, which is a crucial part of political marketing. Market research offers politicians the opportunity to understand public opinion, and can help politicians demonstrate a feeling of being in touch. However, it could also prevent them making the ‘right’ decisions on policy against the findings of market research. Towards the end of his leadership, Tony Blair, once critiqued for being a follower of focus groups, commented:The easy thing to do, frankly, is to hit the button on exactly what the public wants to hear … The responsibility, though, in the end, particularly in the case of war, is to do what I believe to be the right thing for the country. I can’t do it simply on the basis of the number of people who demonstrate, or on the basis of this opinion poll or that opinion poll. You’ve got to do, on an issue like this, what you genuinely believe to be right for the country, and then pay the price at the election if people disagree with you.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRoutledge Handbook of Political Marketing
    Place of PublicationLondon
    Number of pages12
    ISBN (Electronic)9781136597442, 9780203349908
    ISBN (Print)9780415579933
    Publication statusPublished - 2011

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Economics,Econometrics and Finance
    • General Business,Management and Accounting
    • General Social Sciences


    Dive into the research topics of 'Making space for leadership: the scope for politicians to choose how they respond to market research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this