Skip to content

Political Market Research

Political market research involves a wide range of qualitative and quantitative, formal and informal methods for candidates, parties and governments to understand the nature of the political marketplace. Such market research is used to understand the attitudes, behaviour, needs and wants of the public and other key stakeholders and then inform decisions about strategy, creation of the brand, policies, internal political marketing within organisations, and communication of positions with the view to inform, educate, persuade, change and reinforce existing views. Political market research (PMR) includes quantitative forms of research such as polling, surveys, segmentation (including voter profiling), big data (analytical and experimental marketing); and qualitative forms such as focus groups, co-creation and deliberative research; opposition, candidate and policy research; and informal tools including global knowledge transfer and use of public records and data.

Academic Literature

Lees-Marshment, Jennifer (2009). Political Marketing: Principles and Applications (1st edition). Routledge. Understanding the market: market intelligence, consultation and participation Chapter 4

Lees-Marshment, Jennifer (2014) Political Marketing: Principles and Applications 2nd edition. Routledge. Chapter 3 Political market research

Lees-Marshment, Jennifer. (2015). "The Democratic Contribution of Political Market Researchers." Journal of Public Affairs no. 15 (1):1-10.

Turcotte, Andre (2021) Political Marketing Alchemy The State of Opinion Research Palgrave Studies in Political Marketing and Management

Turcotte, Andrew and Jennifer Lees-Marshment (2019) Political Marketing: Principles and Applications 3rd edition. Routledge. Chapter 3 Political market research pp. 53-85


Intro to polls and focus groups

Political parties' focus groups and polling research – Excellent well explained introduction to the methodology by BBC media; includes discussion with UK consultant Deborah Mattinson and on the value of focus groups to connect politicians - 2:59

Pollsters in politics

Importance of market research in politics – NZ Prime Minister John Key gives out a shout out to his pollster David Farrarr in his victory speech on election night after winning a third term in government – see precise clip at 6.27-6.51 -

Pollsters – brief but informative media clip into what they do TVNZ’s behind the scenes in the election series in the 2014 NZ election (2m) -

See political marketing consultant page for other links

The research behind communication

Giving us what we want? - The Persuaders program - This explores the use of research in communication, through focusing on the US consultant Frank Luntz. Raises ethical issues about whether marketing really is about elites listening to voters, or in fact just another tool to sell their product to us. [13 m]

The Dial/Worm/Polygraph

US 2012 Presidential election

The Worm in the UK 2010 first Election Debate: Immigration - The Worm 2.5 minutes

New Zealand 2011 General Election

TV3 Nightline 2 minute report about the use of the worm in the NZ Leaders debate in the 2011 election and controversies

TV3 Firstline NZ News 5 minute programme discussing use of the Ray Morgan reactor (dial) in the NZ Leaders debate in the 2011 election. Explains the dial and discusses questions over neutrality of audience - undecided voters - in this case. 5.01

Australian 2010 federal election debate

Trailor re polygraph

Excerpts from leaders debate with worm measurement - We are fair dinkum about stopping the boats

US 2008 Presidential election debate

Dial  [2m]


Article discussing market research at council/mayoral level 'Auckland's mayoral polling bill nears $250k' Marh 8 2015,

Article on use of the roy morgan worm on the 2011 New Zealand election debate  on TV3 with Roy Morgan's Mobile Reactor -


Edit page
Add paper Cornell note Whiteboard Recorder Download Close
PIP mode