Voting behaviour can be interpreted in various different ways, but whenadopted with the term at face value, on a sociological level; there aremany different reasons as to why the way people vote and what causes themto vote the way they do. The period from 1945-70 was the classic era of two-party dominance. Since the early seventies Conservative and Labour powerhas remained virtually unaltered in Parliament, but their grip has loosenedin local government, and the popularfoundations of the two party system have been eroded among voters. The following provides a fresh and accessible perspective on theories ofelectoral change, placing developments in Britain within their broadercomparative context, and challenging many assumptions about trends invoting behavior.Order now
The primacy approach is long life characteristics which focus on therelatively stability of voting behavior. Political socialisation is theprocess by which people acquire their political attitudes, values and waysof behaving. The primacy approach assumes that the majority of peopleretain their party preference and voting habits are formed when they firstbecome politically aware. There is some evidence for this as theConservatives won a spectacular consecutive period of being in office fromthe years 1978 to 1997 with a success of 49% of the votes. Howeveralthough this forms the basis of voting there are other factors andpossibilities in order to be taken into account such as occupation,immigration, health system etc, these help to influence the voters choiceof party.
However there are long terms factors which help to influence usi. e. social class. The electoral choices of voters were at first influenced mainly by social-group identity, which in turn helped to forge partisan identification;however during the 1960’s and 1970’s the relationship between class andparty weakened. The process of class dealignment meant that there was areduction in Labour support fro the working classes. Most people used tovote for their “natural class” party but it changed due to differentparties introducing different policies to suit the need of their intendedaudience.
Both Conservative and Labour have suffered from partydealignment. In 1964, 48% voted conservatives and 51% Labour votersidentified “very strongly” with their party. In 1992 traditionallyconservatives had seen themselves as the ‘party of home-ownership”, but thehardship many people had experienced during the major years as a result ofhigh interest, had led to much support being switched to Labour. This showsdealignment.
Labour party seemed to attract the council tenants a newaudience of voters. By appealing to Middle England, the Labour party mayhave made it easier for voters who did not belong to the working class tovote for them. . Labour is shown to be much stronger than Conservative inthe last 20 years as Labour won back 7. 9% of the working class vote.
Somepoliticians are claiming that Britain is becoming a classless societywhereby e are merging and coming together as one. This is clearly theembourgeoisement thesis; capitalism has changed dramatically during thetwentieth century. Many of those officially classified as middle class arelow paid jobs, indistinguishable from unskilled manual work, today’s bluecollar and routine clerical workers leaves them little different frommanual workers. The universal Franchise was at first limited to those over twenty-one, inthe belief that the young are more likely to question established valuesand favor radical policies. Young people tend to abstain from voting asthey are either a political or have cannot see what difference the outcomewill make in their everyday lives. However, there has been a greater risein the Labour vote in 1997 amongst the young.
This was probably due to theLabour party appealing to the working class and Tony Blair’s sense of youthand optimism. In 1992 more young people voted conservative than Labour,suggesting the effect of a generation socialized by unbroken conservativerule. The increasing potential of older people’s votes was shown in 1997 asage concern produced glossy brochures to mobilize the elderly, emphasisingthat 24% of the electorate had considerable voter power. It has been arguedthat property and wealth as we grow older lead to a more conservativeoutlook. 65+ give more support towards conservative.
Half of fewer than 45voters were Labour. Generally black people have been less inclined to register to vote thanwhites. However, those of an Asian descent are more likely to vote thantheir white neighbours, while afro-Caribbean are less so. In both cases thestrong preference has been for Labour.
Many young afro-carribeans generallydo not vote .