This article assesses the role of political web sites in the campaign for the Dutch parliamentary elections of 2002. It presents the results of an online survey of 18,000 visitors to political Web sites to examine how far, 1) political Web sites can engage people in politics and, 2) party Web sites in particular can reach floating voters. The results of the survey reveal that political Web sites are only partly able to involve people in politics who have thus far remained aloof. Yet, political Web sites are successful in reaching young people, a group which is usually less politically active but which uses the Internet more intensively. The use of political Web sites does not lead to a more active engagement in politics. For most people the primary reason for visiting a political Web site was finding information about the positions of political parties, about party organisations or about the election campaign. Not only party supporters, but also floating and undecided voters were interested in this information.
|Number of pages||11|
|Publication status||Published - Apr-2003|