Analysis of Voting Behaviour

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  • Valence voting (following attitudes towards parties at elections)
    • Voting Behaviour
      • Rational Choice (Identification of 'salient issues' (very important) at stake in elections)
        • Salient issues in all UK general elections:
          • - state of NHS
            • - state of economy
              • - state of education
                • - immigration issues
                  • - trends in crime, law order
        • Salient issues 2017:
          • - Brexit
            • - how to fund social care for elderly
              • - future of UK's nuclear capability
                • -regulation /public ownership of 'big business'
                  • - Tax burden distribution amongst income groups
                    • - amount of protection for workers again poor employment practices
                      • - extent to which govt should 'spend and borrow' to economic growth, instead of concentrate on financial responsibility and reduction of public-sector debt
      • Issue Voting (voters concentrating on one single issue/group of related issues
        • Instrumental voting: what voter thinks will be best in their own interests i.e. which party will reduce my taxes?  Which will give me job security?
        • Expressive voting: voter thinks of good of all community, i.e. which party has best environmental policies/law and order position/foreign policy?
      • Partisanship and voting attachment
        • Class dealignment leading to partisan dealignment
          • growing middle class
          • declining working class//growingnumber of C2s see themselves as middle class
          • UKIP taken many working class voters from Labour
          • working class voters in Scotland moved to SNP
        • Parties had tended to adopt centrist policies
          • 2017, Labour adopted radical left wing position to mobilise trad. voters
        • Growing support for smaller parties
        • Party membership fallen, few committed party supporters
          • Exception of Labour membership recovery 2016// as of 2018, has 540,000 members
      • Turnout
        • Level of turnout influences outcome of elections.  Different demographics demonstrate different turnout levels. Young vote in lower numbers than over 65s.  Higher income vote more than low.
          • 2017: 54% 18-24 y/o 71% 65+
          • 2017: 76% AB 65% DE
      • Party leaders
    • Governing competency: does party appear decisive?  Did govern well when last in power?  Strength, decisiveness, sensitivity to public opinion.
      • Problem for Labour 2010
        • Overspent between 1997 and 2010, left the country in deficit.  When asked if he thought Labour overspent, Miliband responded "no I don't".  They learnt nothing from financial crash.
      • Problem for Lib Dems 2015
        • 2010 manifesto, promised to abolish tuition fees by 2016. Went into coalition, voted for higher tuition fees.
    • Economic Competence:How well did party manage economy last time in power?  Do current leaders and policies inspire trust and suggest reliability?
      • Labour lost confidence on economic management after financial crash of 2008
        • Conservatives developed positive reputation on such competence, helped them in 2017
    • How united is party?  Voters trust united parties as opposed to disunited ones.
      • Conservatives lost elections 2001 and 2005 as party internally divided.
      • Labour 2017 internally divided i.e. Brexit.
  • 1970: 85% voted Lab or Con.  2010: 65% voted Lab or Con
    • Growing support for smaller parties
  • Strong leadership: Thatcher


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