POLITICAL PARTIES AND VOTING BEHAVIOUR

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1952 TO 1979

BUTLER AND STOKES 1971
found 67% of their objective w/c sample voted Labour.
even stronger relationship between subjective class and voting behaviour.
where subective evaluation matched objective classificatin, 80% of w/c sample voted Labour.

MCKENZIE AND SILVER 1968
explored deviant voters - focused on w/c deferential voter who accounted for half w/c Tory votes.
this voter tended to be older, lower income, female + live in countryside.
many w/c devant voters were secular voters - young, affluent, factory workers, rationally voting.

BUTLER AND ROSE 1960
linked the emergence of secular voting to embourgeoisement - increased affluence of w/c in 1950s, leading to identification with m/c values.

GOLDTHORPE AND LOCKWOOD 1969
affluent workers in Luton
found m/c and w/c subscribed to vey different value systems.
very little deep-seated loyalty to Labour among well-paid factory workers.
class alignment beginning to waver among parts of w/c. 

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1979 TO 1997

IVOR CREWE 1984
- the majority of manual workers identified with socialist principles and so voted Labour. 
- the proportion of trad. w/c Labour voters massively declined due to global recession.
- this decline = class dealignment.
- nature and composition of w/c undergoe radical change due to increase of service sector, leading   to well paid, non-unionised new w/c. 
- don't automatically identify with one party, likely to choose who will improve standard of living. 
- this = partisan dealignment.

BUTLER AND KAVANAGH 1985
Crewe had underestimated the short-term influences e.g. patriotism after Falklands War.

MARSHALL 1987
Crewe had exaggerated both class and party dealignment - people still think in class terms. 
Labour failed to win voters because it had shifted ideologically too far to the Conservative's. 

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1997, 2001, 2005

SOCIAL CLASS ALIGNMENTS

- large section of electorate still committed to ideologies that reflect w/c and m/c voters.

- in 2005, Labour won 45% of unskilled w/c vote + 43% skilled w/c vote; only 28% + 32% for the Conservatives.

- Labour has recognised partisan alignment is not straight-forward and had success in the middle ground, but still not much within lower m/c vote.

- deviant voters key to electoral success. In 2001, more lower m/c voted Labour than Tory, but Labour lost some support from the skilled and unskilled w/c. 

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CONSUMPTION CLEAVAGES

- social divisions based on people's ability to purchase desirable goods and services.

- some argue they are more important than social class in shaping voting behaviour. 

- in 2001 and 2005, more home owners voted Conservative, though those with mortgages more likely to vote Labour. 

- Labour's share of trade unionist and council tenant voters fell between 1997 and 2005, but they still won 56% of this vote, compared with 16% for the Conservatives. 

Many consumption symbols are in fact indicators of social class and so we can't be surprised that most home owners voted Conservative as they are likely to be middle class. 

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GENDER

- up to 2001, evidence suggested women more likely than men to vote Tory, however in 2005, this   difference almost disappeared. 
- also suggested that young women with children more likely to vote Labour in 2005 - policies.
- voting preference of females depends on age: older = Tory, younger = Labour.
- in 1997, 2001 + 2005, more women under 45 voted Labour, compared with men of same age.

CHILDS AND CAMPBELL 2008
- older women generally vote for Labour, when compared with men of same age. 
- political priorities differ according to gender: women = spending on healthcare and education,         men = economy.

INGLEHART AND NORRIS 2000
- since 1997, younger women tend to be more left wing than men.
- women more likely to support increased tax if spent on welfare policies.
- also more likely to support equal opportunities. 

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ETHNICITY

- voting behaviour has undergone little change.

- Labour has always attracted over 70% of the ethnic-minority vote.

- in 2001, 84.8% of Afro-Caribbean's and Asian's voted Labour.

- however, the Iraq war had an effect on Muslim vote in some areas of the country.

- 2005 election, Lib Dems and independent candidates benefited from Muslims either switching their vote or not voting in protest.

- Bethnal Green and Bow have a significantly large Muslim population, voted for antiwar campaigner George Galloway and defeated the sitting Labour MP. 

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REGIONAL DIFFERENCES

- important variable in voting behaviour.

- Labour vote is mainly found in urban areas, the North, Wales and Scotland.

- Conservative vote is largely found in rural areas, mainly in the South.

- in 1997, Conservatives didn't win a single seat in Wales and Scotland.

- rural areas and the South are likely to contain large clusters of m/c voters.

- although, the deferential w/c voter may still be vallid in those who work in the countryside. 

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POLITICAL LITERACY AND TACTICAL VOTING

- voters are more politically literate than in the past.

- they have more knowledge about policies of parties and are nw more able to make informed judgements.

- people are especially informed with regard to economic policy and its effect on their standard of living.

- in 1997 and 2001, m/c deviant voters used this political knowledge in constituencies where Labour was weak by voting tactically for Lib Dems, in order to prevent Conservative candidates from winning seats. 

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VOTER APATHY

- becoming a problem, especially among young people.
- in 2001 and 2005, only 60% and 61% of electorate voted compared with 71% in 1997.
- younger generation see very little difference between the messages of 2 main parties. 
- estimated in 2001, less than 40% of 18-24 year olds voted in the general election.
- young people's knowledge of politics is poor and so don't trust politicians who are out of touch. 

WILKINSON AND MULGAN 1997
young people are now politically disaffected or a 'switched off generation'.

FAHMY 2004
young people less likely to attend party rallies, contact local MPs etc. Also more likely to be motivated by a single issue - NSMs. 

FURLONG AND CARTMEL 1997
life tasks that emerge for young people may be mre important than political participation.

PARK 1999
people's interest in politics develops when they start paying tax, mortgages etc. Age gaps in participation got wider in the 1990s.  

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DECLINE

EVIDENCE:
membership and electio turnouts.

RANGE OF REASONS:
- policy / ideological convergence.
- failure to involve members and listen to their ideas.
- politicians, advisers and party officials close themselves off from members.
- globalisation results in parties made to appear powerless.  

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