Abstract: In this article, the use of interactive features on the websites of Dutch local (branches of) political parties during the campaign for the 2010 local elections is investigated. We distinguish between features that are directed to increase political discussion and those that are used for political mobilisation. A content analysis of 1403 party websites demonstrates that websites of the social-liberal party D66 are the most interactive, followed by the Socialist Party. Furthermore, for elections in larger municipalities, more interactivity is used on the parties’ websites. Overall, the use of both types of interactive features is rather limited. Finally, a positive association between interactivity and election results, while controlling for previous elections and national trends, is established. These results point to the importance of (online) political campaigning in the context of local elections.
Keywords: local elections, Netherlands, websites, interactivity, content analysis