Short Term Influences on Voting Behaviour

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Short Term Influences on Voting Behaviour

The Economy

  • The electorate will tend to vote on parties based on the current state of the economy- if they are happy with the economy at present they may vote for the current power holding party
  • If they are unhappy with the state of the economy they may vote in favour of another party in order to demand a change
  • John Major's government in 1992 presided over a major economic fall when the currency lost 15% of its value which led to a Labour win in 1997

Party Image

  • Consists of a sense of what the party stands for, its principles and its aims in power
  • Less specific than an ideology
  • Broad values to attract a higher number of voters
  • Political parties tend to become more and more all the same so party image gives parties a last chance to define themselves as something different
  • In 2001 the Conservatives could not shake off the traditional negative image of old fashioned, bigoted, sleazy and obsessive politics
  • Labour introduced New Labour which was more modern and young and rejected the Old Labour
  • It was sensible in terms of the economy but compassionate on a social front in order to broadly appeal to a wide range of voters


  • Voters will often base their vote on the policy propsosals of the major parties on current political issues
  • Areas such as health, education, law and taxation are important
  • Consumer Model voters

Government Record

  • Some voters vote retrospectively and pay attention to the track record of governments
  • There is a tendency for governments to lose elections
  • This can be due to general discontent, want for change or current events
  • The Iraq war saw Labour lose a lot of votes

Election Campaign

  • If voters act as consumers then the campaign can make a huge difference in turnout
  • Modern marketing techniques have become…


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