This project was designed to measure the level of contact voters had with political parties and with the state in the run up to the 2007 Scottish elections. From 2 April until 3 May, 251 volunteers in seventy one Scottish constituencies recorded each time they were contacted about the election. This included both direct contact, such as letters, leaflets, canvassing and facetoface campaigning activity; and indirect contact, by which we mean more impersonal forms of advertising, such as Party Political Broadcasts (PPBs), posters and newspaper adverts.
It should be noted that these figures are entirely dependent on the information supplied by the
monitors. It is clear from looking through the data that some forms of contact – in particular billboards and posters – were not always recorded in detail. Therefore, our results can only be taken as indicative.
From our results, it seems that the political parties contesting the Scottish elections delivered a great deal of election literature – 130% more than the parties in the 2005 General Election.1 However, there was no increase in the rate of personal contacts either on the doorstep or by telephone: just over one in three of our monitors recorded being contacted in this way. Our monitors found that the SNP delivered the fewest letters and leaflets of all the four main parties and made less direct contact overall than either Scottish Labour or the Scottish Liberal Democrats.