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November 21, 2013 / C H Thompson

Party image and the electorate

Heath, Jowell and Curtice (1985) argued party image was growing in its significance for the electorate particularly in relation to how class partisanship was now manifest in the ideological image portrayed by a political party. This is evident in the way Mrs Thatcher was told to drop ‘that hat’, then ‘the pearls’ but most importantly ‘the voice’. Much of this early change of image can be attributed to Gordon Reece a former television producer.

With his help Mrs Thatcher was presented in her early years as party leader as a non-feminist housewife before refashioning her Sun Green Crapimage through bolder outfits and a less shrill voice. We can see the extent image plays in the three clips below by examining the semiotics of clothing, hairstyle and scene setting are scene (mise en scene) as taking precedent over airing political policies, especially in the David Cameron clips. From this we can see the extent to which newspapers select certain images to convey certain meanings such as this picture of David Cameron in the Sun newspaper.

The extent to which image plays its part is explored in further detail here.

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