Simple voting behaviour
- Easiest way to explain voting behaviour- long term & short term factors
- Primacy factor- predispose an individual to support a particular political party and recency factors moderate their outlook
- Primarcy model
- long term e.g. class- more important than short term in deciding elections
- Supporters see stability in behaviour not volatility
- Recency model
- hold voting pattern - more volatile in process such as embourgeoisement - led class and partisan dealignment
- Result - short term ( issues, events leaders) more important - 10 million voters make mind up in last month
- Social structures model
- Effective in other way of framing in primacy
- Emphasises influence social cleavages on outcomes
- Belief in enduring influence of long term suggest behaviour stable - low electoral swing because social factors only change slowly
- Party Identification model
- Individuals identify with political party and stick with it.
- 1950s - over 90% voters voted with either Labour or Conservatives
- However, 2010- figure fallen by 65.1%
- Fact- strongly identified with either party dropped from 45%to 13% between 1964 and 2001- decline in share the vote
- Process weakening party ties = party dealignment
- Rational Choice model
- Made by individuals voters
- variants of the model focus of short term such as issues: performance of parties, leaders, state of economy
- Key term:
- An approach to they study of politics that focuses on the actions of rational individuals who purse their own interests
What do we mean by tacital voting and protest voting
- Tactical voting:
- Individuals choose to vote for a candidate that is not or her preferred candidate- so candidate that least favour of being elected
- Protest voting:
- Voter back other candidates from different party to send normal party a message or to government
- Occurs elections where outcomes is less crucial to voters e.g. local election or elections to the EU Parliament
What is Swing?
A measurement of the movement of voters from one party to another, between one election and the next. It is expressed in percentage. Labour fell 6.2%, Conservatives by 3.7% a swing 4.95% from L to C ( 6.2+3.7=9.9/2= 4.95)
What is Churned?
- Even if swing is small - 2001 1.8%
- Voting appears fairly stable, the headline statistics may serve to obsure underlying volatility
- Due to churn: wher large numbes of voters switch their support between parties, elections, while the headline statistics remain the same
The impact of the media
- Media: broadcast media (TV, radio), press (newspapers, journals, magazines); new media ( internet)
- BBC and ITC - legally required remain politically impartial.
- Newspaper - free to take sides
- Sun famously support Cons in 1992, with memorable headlines 'Will the last person to leave Britain please turn out the light' - when Labour victory appeared likely.
- Paul Whiteley - suggested Sun backing Labour cost Cons around 500,000 voters
- Labour:- Mirror and Sunday Mirror
- Cons:- Daily Express, Daily Telegraph, The Times, Sun, Daily Mail, Financial Times, Mail on Sunday,Sunday Express, Sunday TImes, News of the World.
- Lib Dems:- Guardian and Observer
The Significance of opinion polls