Discuss the view that class is still the most important factor influencing the way people vote

Topics: Social class, Working class, Middle class Pages: 3 (1348 words) Published: January 25, 2015
Discuss the view that class is still the most important factor influencing the way people vote Voting behaviour is the way in which the individuals of the electorate vote. Typically this can be divided into a sociological approach based on entrenched characteristics such as class, age and region and rational choice approach based on individual decisions based on political issues, governance and party leaders or image. Between the years of 1945-1970 social class dominantly shaped the voting behaviour of individuals. Whilst there has been a decline in prominence of class voting: Labour remains the most popular working class party and Conservatives perform best among middle-class voters. Social classes are defined by economic and social status, i.e. working class typically consists of blue-collar workers, and in the past a strong link existed between voting behaviour and social class. This link existed due to entrenched ideals within social classes and lack of upward social mobility, meaning stable, long-term relationships would form to a particular party that best reflected the interests of an individual’s socio economic group, i.e AB social classes were seemingly intertwined with the fabric of the Conservative party. This party identification, or partisan, led to 64% of the vote in the mid 1960’s compromising of B support for Conservatives and C1/2 support for Labour. Yet since the 1970’s there has been both class and partisan dealignment. This can be accredited to changes in employment patterns, educational opportunities and rising standards of living. This means that the core vote of the two main parties is reduced and there are more floating voters, who are sans allegiance or attachment to any political party, less than 40% of voters say they have a strong attachment to any party compared with 90% in post-war Britain. To compliment this, albeit Labour was founded upon a commitment to a class, in 1997 New Labour made significant gains across the middle-class...
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