Patterns of Emotional Displays in Campaign Messages during the 2019 European Parliamentary Election in Lithuania
The 2019 European Parliament (EP) election in Lithuania was a second-order event significantly affected by domestic political developments and agendas. As with all previous EP elections, it attracted a minimal level of public attention in Lithuania, creating challenges and opportunities for Lithuanian political groups to effectively reach their electorates. This article focuses on the emotional display patterns of the campaign messages of political parties during the 2019 European Parliamentary campaign in Lithuania. To this end, it applies Lasswell’s model of commu-nication to assess printed media- and social-network-based campaign materials. Findings confirm that emotional messages dominated the communication of the political groups to their voters, and show the extremely broad spectrum of political messages that were used to arouse emotions. The study indicates that the concept of Europe remains distant and abstract to voters in Lithuania. Politicians’ messages to voters overwhelmingly appealed to the European context when addressing domestic agendas, thereby exploiting the emotional aspects of domestic political discourses in Lithuania and the perception of the EU in the country. Finally, the study demonstrates that the personification of political strategies involving politicians’ charisma, public image, and expressivity were key elements in terms of the election outcome.
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