The character and role of membership in political parties have been varied in time (van Haute, 2011; Scarrow, 2015; Gauja, 2017), just as the parties themselves, their organizations and functions in political systems (e.g. Duverger, 1976; Kirkheimer, 1966; Mair, Katz, 1997; Katz, Mair, 2009). There are researchers suggesting that the importance of members for political parties and in campaigning has declined substantially. But does it mean that they have become irrelevant in this aspect?
In the paper we look at the process of inter-electoral campaigning from the perspective of the rank-and-files of Polish political parties. There are three research questions in this article: (1) Do the rank-and-file members of Polish political parties see the functions of modern political parties in the aspect of permanent communication? (2) Do they engage in the parties’ inter-electoral campaigns? (3) Do the assessments of party functions and performances, or the view about the role of the grassroots, correlate with the members’ engagement in the campaigns of the parties?
The data analyzed in the paper were taken from the research conducted in the project „Political parties and their social environment. An Analysis of the Organization and Communications Activities of Polish Political Parties”1. The analysis is based on the quantitative data (PAPI and CAWI) of the members of six Polish political parties (n=2,488).