Theories about voting behaviour

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The party identification theory

  • Political Socialisation emphasis.
  • People learn their political attitudes and behaviour via the process of growing up.
  • Psychological attachement to a political party known as partisan allignment
  • Development of political loyalties.
  • Recent years, party identification is lower than in the past.
  • Partisan deallignment
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The sociological theory

  • Way in which social characteristics influenced participation
  • Social class and other characteristics (ethnicity, gender,region,religion)
  • Class alignment
  • In recent years, classes have become less differentiated.
  • Class dealignment increase.
  • Class mobility increase.
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The rational choice theory

  • Individual making a rational judgement and acting in a calculated and deliberate way.
  • Based on past performance of a particular administration, or more related to the prospects for the individuals and their family/friends. State of economy could also be a factor.
  • Instrumental
  • High profile for the party leader in the campaign.
  • Biased representation of parties, can the choice be rational?
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The dominant ideology theory

  • Media are seen as reflecting a dominant prevailing ideology.
  • Individual choices are influenced by the way in which the media presents the parties.
  • 'It was the Sun what won it'
  • Questionable and unproven.
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