Social Class and Voting Behaviour

How Social Class has historically influenced the behavour of voting, an explanation of why this occured, and how to fell apart, causes of deviant voting, alignment, dealignment, partisan alignment, enjoy.

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  • Social Class and Voting Behaviour
    • Era of Alignment (1950 - 1970)
      • Social Class; A B C1 = middle class C2 D E = working class
  • During this era Social Class had a heavy dictation on how the public voted
    • Era of Alignment (1950 - 1970)
      • Social Class; A B C1 = middle class C2 D E = working class
    • 2/3 of those in the Working Class voted Labour
      • Why did the working class vote Labour?
        • After the 1930's depression 1/3 of were on the poverty line, and 1/3 were below the poverty line
          • Labour had promised to abolish poverty, care for the working class, provide jobs and necessities
        • Many workers had trade union links, and trade unions had a large say in the formation and running of the party, this caused a natural affiliation
    • 4/5 of those who were in the middle class voted Conservative
      • Why did the middle class vote Conservative
        • The conservatives were very supportive of the idea of a free market, most of the middle class were wealthy business owners which would benefit from Conservative rule
        • The conservatives are the most successful party in British Politics, Labour were a new and radical party, traditional members of the middle class may have felt safer voting Conservative
  • 4/5 of those who were in the middle class voted Conservative
    • Why did the middle class vote Conservative
      • The conservatives were very supportive of the idea of a free market, most of the middle class were wealthy business owners which would benefit from Conservative rule
      • The conservatives are the most successful party in British Politics, Labour were a new and radical party, traditional members of the middle class may have felt safer voting Conservative
  • 2/3 of those in the Working Class voted Labour
    • Why did the working class vote Labour?
      • After the 1930's depression 1/3 of were on the poverty line, and 1/3 were below the poverty line
        • Labour had promised to abolish poverty, care for the working class, provide jobs and necessities
      • Many workers had trade union links, and trade unions had a large say in the formation and running of the party, this caused a natural affiliation
  • Those who were in the working class that voted Conservative and Vice Versa, were known as 'Deviant Voters'
    • Why did people vote Deviantly?
      • 1/5 of the middle class may have voted Labour because;
        • They worked in the Care sector and did not want to see cut backs that may affect those that they cared for e.g Nurses
        • They worked in the public sector and may have felt their jobs will be protected more by the pro-public spending Labour party
      • 1/3 of the working class may have voted Conservative because
        • They were what was known as 'Aspirational Voters' (C2) and saw the Conservative as a catalyst for class mobility
        • They were what is known as 'Defferential voters' that voted conservative because they believed that tories were naturally more capable with economics and leadership etc
  • Why did people vote Deviantly?
    • 1/5 of the middle class may have voted Labour because;
      • They worked in the Care sector and did not want to see cut backs that may affect those that they cared for e.g Nurses
      • They worked in the public sector and may have felt their jobs will be protected more by the pro-public spending Labour party
    • 1/3 of the working class may have voted Conservative because
      • They were what was known as 'Aspirational Voters' (C2) and saw the Conservative as a catalyst for class mobility
      • They were what is known as 'Defferential voters' that voted conservative because they believed that tories were naturally more capable with economics and leadership etc
  • They empathised with those in the lower classes
    • The Labour Party was formed in 1900 and was seen as a created by working people, for working people (who had been largely ignored by previous governments) it subsequently won it's first election in 1924
      • In the 70's voting became much more irratic, whereas before Labour and Conservatives regularly enjoyed between 40 and  50% of the vote,  this now fluctuated wildy (in 1985, Labour recieved just 27.6% of the vote)
        • This fluctuation in vote share meant that people were voting in a more rational way, and disregarding their partisan alignments
      • This fluctuation in vote share meant that people were voting in a more rational way, and disregarding their partisan alignments
      • Partisan alignment = psychological and emotional affiliation to a party
        • Causes of dealignment
          • Media influence
            • Commercial TV fed the working class aspiration voters
          • Issue voting
            • The winter of discontent, caused by union attempts to compromise and influence governments, put working people and their newly found affluence at risk, this could be one reason why, during Thatcher years, more Working Class members voted Conservative than Labour
          • Less Poverty
            • After labour had provided the necessities, more and more people found themselves with disposable income and a consumerist outlook,
          • Increased standard of education
            • A better educated electorate meant that they could vote in a more rational way; and had a wider outlook and understanding of politics, it became much harder for Union Leaders to indoctrinate their workers
        • Less Poverty
          • After labour had provided the necessities, more and more people found themselves with disposable income and a consumerist outlook,
        • Issue voting
          • The winter of discontent, caused by union attempts to compromise and influence governments, put working people and their newly found affluence at risk, this could be one reason why, during Thatcher years, more Working Class members voted Conservative than Labour
        • Media influence
          • Commercial TV fed the working class aspiration voters
        • Increased standard of education
          • A better educated electorate meant that they could vote in a more rational way; and had a wider outlook and understanding of politics, it became much harder for Union Leaders to indoctrinate their workers

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