Slides in this set
In this section I am going to look at how Religion effects the way that people vote and if it
is really a determinant of which party different religions vote for.
I believe that people of different religions may vote in response to the parties views on
issues such as abortion, homosexuality, the environment and economics.
In the 19th century religion was seen to play a major role in voting behaviour. The Church
of England was described as the `'tory' party at prayer', also Anglicans where always
perceived as `'tory' voters. Catholic voter, Non-Christians and the Non-Religious was seen
as labour voters; Non-Conformists such as Methodists and Quakers where seen as Liberal
Since the 19th century this `theory' has changed dramatically and most denominations
now vote for different party and nowadays people believe that voting behaviour might
have more to do with ethnicity than to do with religion, as there has been a general
decline of religion in Britain over the past few years.…read more
The table below shows how religion affected the general election of 2001.
Con (%) (%) (%)
No religion 21 48 23
Anglican 39 41 18
Presbyterian 25 44 14
Roman Catholic 25 60 12
Conformists 31 42 21
Non-Christians 7 82 8
This table shows that the majority of Non religious people nowadays tend to vote
Labour, with nearly half of the votes. Anglicans has a close percentage of people swaying
from the conservative party and labour. The Scottish Presbyterian usually vote labour.
Roman Catholics and Non-Conformists also tend to vote labour and a high number of
Non-Christians also vote labour, with less than 10% voting either conservative or liberal
The graph showed that since the 19th century people have changed who they vote for,
this could be because of a variety of reasons, one being that a party may have changed
some of its principles which attracted a certain denomination.
Many people are less religious nowadays and tend to vote for the party who's principles
seem the most effective and reliable.
Therefore I believe that overall religion no longer plays a major role in the patterns of
voting behaviour but still has a slight influence on peoples decisions, I can back
statement up due to the fact that whilst looking at the latest statics on factors effecting
voting behaviour religion was not monitored therefore the government must believe
that this no longer plays a major role.…read more
In this section we will be looking at how ethnicity effects the way that people vote.
Ethnicity when talking about voting behaviour can be split into three main groups:
Class, Political Geography and Race. We will look at them more in a short while.
Branton (2004) argues that race and ethnicity have a strong influence on many issues
because of the origin of the issues in a white-dominated society thereby excluding
some of the racial minorities and their opinions.
She also believes that minorities and whites vote differently on the issues because they
interpret the effects of the issues in a different manner.
The most recent analyse of voting patterns between ethnicity and voting behaviour
show that the majority of the black and Asian population vote labour. As well as the
overall majority the differences between these groups where also recorded and they
found that, there was 16% difference between Asian (70%) and Black (86%) support for
the labour party. (Data is from 1997 election).
In earlier studies, Fitzgerald (1988) using the data from the '87 election found that
higher levels of support for the conservative party among East African Asians than
those from the Indian sub continent.…read more
A common reason given by many black and Asian respondents as to why they vote labour is
because its for the `working class', and many of the black and Asian population will have
immigrated here to the UK in hope of securing a job with a good wage.
It has been found that the black and Asian working class labour vote is much higher than
the working class vote in general, this could be because they see themselves as less
important the white population. Fitzgerald (1988) claims that, there is no clear evidence
that the black and Asian population especially perceive themselves as working class.
Although in the 1997 elections 86% of blacks voted labour and 70% of Asians voted labour.
Another reason the black and Asian population vote labour is generally to do with the fact
that they appear to deal with immigration and racial issues in a more liberal way, therefore
this encourages there vote, although this isn't a denominating factor of there choice of
voting as evidence suggests that they are not predominantly concerned with `race' issues.
It has also been found that more Asian voters vote for the conservative party than that of
the black voters, the reason for this is mainly because a majority of Asian voters are usually
business men such as entrepreneurs or more wealthy due to there careers, such as doctors.
Although black and Asian voters only make up a small proportion of the electorate the
black and Asian vote in some constituencies is large enough to make a significant difference
and many of these constituencies have become labour strongholds due to the fact black
and Asian people have relied on their local labour MP's in the earlier days of post war
immigration for political support. Therefore this could be another reason as to why the vote
Overall I believe that ethnicity does play a important factor towards voting behaviour.
I mainly believe this because many of the minorities within Britain seem to think less
of themselves and feel less important that the white race, therefore they tend to vote
labour as they believe they are considered as `working class', also more minority MP's
are representatives of the labour party.
This graph shows that a
higher number of ethnic
minority MP's tend to be
labour supporters therefore
this could be another reason
for a higher percentage of
ethnic minorities voting
labour, as they are
represented more in labour.…read more