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Voting Behaviour
A: The Study of Voting Behaviour
About three-quarters of the electorate turn out to vote at a general election; most of the rest choose
to deliberately not vote.

Before the study of voting behaviour (psephology) developed in the 20th century, voting was seen as
an individual act by…

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a) Working Class Conservatives

For most of the twentieth century, the working class outnumbered the middle class. Despite this, for
most of this period Britain had Conservative governments. To win so many elections and remain in
office the Conservative obviously needed and obtained substantial working class support, whereas
Labour would…

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However, a far more likely explanation was that it was not conversions to the Conservatives, but that
it was changes in the composition of the middle class. Social change in post-war Britain led to a
massive expansion of the middle class, as the public sector grew.

Many people in central…

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2. Voters' Perception of Parties' Failings ­

Voters' perception of the lack of success of both parties in government and in opposition
may be a significant factor in weakening party identification.

3. Rejection of Party Policies ­

Research has suggested that supporters have rejected particular policies of "their" parties.
Thus,…

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policies which would attract these very people ­ without this decision being made, many
commentators believe that Labour would have been condemned to permanent electoral
decline.

ii) The Consequences of Dealignment:

a) Volatility of the Electorate

The process of partisan and class dealignment have produced a highly volatile electorate with…

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