Political Participation in the UK

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  • Declining Political Participation in the UK
    • Voter Turnout
      • 1945-1992 = average of 75%
      • 1997 = 71 %, 2001 = 59% = lowest since 1918
        • Blair's 1997 'landslide' victory was won with half a million less votes than John Major's 21 seat victory
      • 2005 = 61% but large no. postal votes
      • 2010 = 65% despite closeness of contest and first use of leaders TV debate
    • Party Membership
      • Labour 1950's = >1M. 2009 = 166,000
      • Tories 1950's = 2.8M. 2009 = 250,000
      • 2007 = <1%. 1950's = 7%
    • Reasons for Decline
      • Public
        • 'Social capital' decline. I > We. Levels of trust and sense of connectedness decline
        • Family and friends > larger society
          • 'Social capital' decline. I > We. Levels of trust and sense of connectedness decline
      • Media
        • Creating lack of trust and cynicism of government and politicians
        • Focus on hype and scandals, and allegations of incompetence, policy failure or simple inertia
      • Politcians
        • Lack of vision
        • Age of 'spin'
        • lack of choice
        • Electoral stratagies

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