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Introduction
What are Parties for
How Parties have Adapted to Change - Cadre Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Mass Membership Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Catch-All Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Cartel Party
Describing Party Systems
Theories of Party Systems -The Frozen Party System
Theories of Party Systems - The Downs Model
Theories of Party Systems - Satori
The New Party System
How do voters decide who to vote for
How do voters decide who to vote for - The Michigan Studies
How do voters decide who to vote for - Social Class
How do voters decide who to vote for - Partisan Dealignment
Issue Voting
Single Member Constituencies
Electoral Bias
Electoral Geography of Great Britain
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Conservatives
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Labour
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Liberals
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Plaid Cymru
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - SNP
Electoral Geography in Great Britain - UKIP
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Green Party
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Respect
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - BNP
General Election Campaign - Choosing the Date
General Election Campaign
General Election Campaign - The Media
General Election Campaigns - Three types of Media
General Election Campaigns - Opinion Polls
General Election Campaigns - turn-out
Why did people vote the way they did - Social Class
Why did people vote the way they did - Housing Tenure
Why did people vote the way they did - Age
Why did people vote the way they did - Gender
Why did people vote the way they did - Ethnicity
The result and government formation
Introduction
What are Parties for
How Parties have Adapted to Change - Cadre Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Mass Membership Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Catch-All Party
How Parties Have Adapted to Change - The Cartel Party
Describing Party Systems
Theories of Party Systems -The Frozen Party System
Theories of Party Systems - The Downs Model
Theories of Party Systems - Satori
The New Party System
How do voters decide who to vote for
How do voters decide who to vote for - The Michigan Studies
How do voters decide who to vote for - Social Class
How do voters decide who to vote for - Partisan Dealignment
Issue Voting
Single Member Constituencies
Electoral Bias
Electoral Geography of Great Britain
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Conservatives
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Labour
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Liberals
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Plaid Cymru
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - SNP
Electoral Geography in Great Britain - UKIP
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Green Party
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - Respect
Electoral Geography of Great Britain - BNP
General Election Campaign - Choosing the Date
General Election Campaign
General Election Campaign - The Media
General Election Campaigns - Three types of Media
General Election Campaigns - Opinion Polls
General Election Campaigns - turn-out
Why did people vote the way they did - Social Class
Why did people vote the way they did - Housing Tenure
Why did people vote the way they did - Age
Why did people vote the way they did - Gender
Why did people vote the way they did - Ethnicity
The result and government formation
parties and voting banner

University 18 Yrs + | Parties and Voting

Voting Factors - Social Class


Although the dominant political science view is that social factors are not the main determinants of voting any more, there are significant variations in the groups that support the parties and this data will tell the parties which groups they need to win over next time:

Social class is not something that can be directly measured, except perhaps by asking people what class they see themselves as (about half see themselves as working class and half middle class).  

Opinion polling uses six grades derived from the National Readership Survey.

A    Higher managerial, administrative or professional
B    Intermediate managerial, administrative or professional
C1  Supervisory clerical and junior managerial, administrative or professional
C2  Skilled manual workers
D    Semi and Unskilled manual workers
E     State pensioners, casual or lower grade workers, unemployed with state benefits only

So A, B and C1 could be seen as the middle class and C2, D and E the working class although there is a problem with state pensioners who may previously have been in a different social grade.  A and B groups have increased from 12% of the population in 1968 to 27% now

The Current Population Survey (previously Household Survey) and the Census of Population use an eight point gradation based on types of work and excluding pensioners and this is available for wards and constituencies so correlations with party support can be worked out but there is no direct information on how people in these categories vote

In 2010 the Conservatives led Labour by 39% to 27% in the middle class groups (roughly similar with ABs and C1s) and by 37% to 29% among the C2s, while Labour led among the DEs by 40% to 31%. The Liberal Democrat vote was about 20% throughout but higher amongst ABs than the other groups. Several points follow from this, especially if we compare the changes from October 1974 and 1992 which were also closely fought elections:-
  • In 1974 Labour had 49% of the C2s and 57% of the DEs so there has clearly been a process of class dealignment with Labour losing working class votes, though it still leads among unskilled workers. This has been a gradual process so that Labour had 40% of the C2s in 1992 and 49% of the DEs. They recovered some of this working class vote in the Blair years.
  • Class dealignment has worked in the opposite direction as well ,so that Labour now has a higher proportion of the professional and managerial middle class vote and this is a bigger group of the population. Labour only lost 3% of this group between 1997 and 2010. The Conservatives had 56% of this group in 1974 and have lost some of it to the Liberal Democrats as well as to Labour.
  • The C1s tend to be more Conservative but Labour did win a majority in 1997 and 2001 and was still performing significantly better in this group in 2010 than it did in 1992
  • The C2s have become the classic swing group so that Labour won by 40% to 33% in 2005 while the Conservatives won by 37% to 29% in 2010
  • Either the Conservatives or Labour could win in 2015 by getting some extra support across the social groups, and Labour, especially, may be able to get people across the social spectrum to transfer from the Liberal Democrats. However, Labour’s main target looks to be the C2s and the Conservatives need to win more AB and C1 support ,as it may be difficult to make much further advance with the working class groups.




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