The reputation of the party leader and of the party being led

Gary Davies, Takir Mian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the similarity of the reputation of political leaders with those of their parties and to assess the claim of causal links. Design/methodology/approach: A multidimensional measure of brand personality is used to measure the reputation among voters of the three main parties and their leaders in two surveys each prior to British General Elections in 2001 and 2005. Findings: The reputations of leader and party are highly correlated, but statistically distinct in both studies. The leader's reputation appears to influence that of the party more than vice versa. However, the decline in Tony Blair's reputation between 2001 and 2005 appears to have influenced more those loyal to other parties. Research limitations/implications: Further work would be useful to compare the relative value of cognitive and affective measures of reputation, particularly in predicting voting behaviour. Practical implications: The findings emphasise the role of the leader's reputation in managing that of a political party. A change of leader will, inevitably, produce a change in party reputation. The two reputations interact and monitoring such effects will require similar ways of measuring both. Originality/value: Links between the reputations of organisations and their leaders have been claimed but never demonstrated empirically. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-350
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Elections
  • Leaders
  • Perception
  • Performance management
  • Political parties
  • United Kingdom


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