voting behaviour and the role of the media in politics

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how do different regions of the UK vote?

  • the conservatives have continued to do well in area that are predominantly white, rural or suburban and socially conservative
  • since 2005 Labour party support has contracted to industrial urban areas in South Wales, the industrial north and London
  • urban areas are now increasingly labour strongholds and less inclined to vote conservative
  • scottish voters have very different concerns and priorities from the rest of the UK
  • labour has lost its dominance in Scotland after concentrating on winning seats in england, while 2017 saw the establishment of the conservative party as the main opposition in Scotland
  • in southeast england, traditional party politics is becoming far more divided, with votes for UKIP and the Green Party reducing support for the 3 traditional parties
  • scotland- left wing, traditionally labour, since 2015 there has been an SNP dominance, return of unionist parties in 2017; opposition to london, specific social and economic positions, impact of devolution
  • wales- heavy labour bias, strong levels of support for the conservatives; industrial areas favour labour, rural areas vote conservative or lib dem, far west is more likely to vote nationalist
  • northern ireland- has own party system, split between unionist and nationalist parties; party votes reflect religious and cultural divisions 
  • london- majority labour; increasing ethnic diversity, greater economic disparity, reliance on public services, more socially liberal 
  • rural england- overwhelmingly conservative; mostly white, economically and socially conservative
  • industrial north of england- mostly labour; higher levels of unemployment, greater rates of poverty and urban decay, greater ethnic diversity
  • the home counties- predominantly conservative; london commuter belt, made up of C1, B and A classes, mostly white, more conservative than london, economically prosperous

how do class, gender, age and ethnicity affect voting?

class

  • A- higher managerial and professional workers e.g. business owners, judges
  • B- middle managers and professionals e.g. store managers, teachers, lawyers
  • C1- clerical workers e.g. office clerks, secretaries
  • C2- skilled manual workers e.g. builders, electricians, plumbers
  • D- semi skilled and unskilled workers e.g. day labourers, factory workers
  • E- unemployed, pensioners, those unable to work
  • until the 80s class often determined how a person would vote
  • Classes A, B and C1- middle class, tended to vote conservative
  • classes C2, D and E- working class, tended to vote labour
  • each party had a set of core voters from a distinct social class- economic factors were the top concern for many people
  • the two main parties presented a clear, class based choice to the electorate
  • 1970- 88% of all votes went to the main parties
  • since the 70s- economic reforms and changing attitudes in society, decline in the importance of economic issues
  • greater concern about social issues- immigration, civil and human rights, crime, welfare provision, attitudes to sex and sexuality, britain's position in the world
  • resulted in class dealignment- voters less likely to be loyal to one party and taking into consideration multiple issues
  • increase in floating voters
  • elections between 1945 and 1992 were a straight contest between Labour and the conservatives
  • by 2015 the contest involved…

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