Voting Behaviour

Essay by nancycaoCollege, UndergraduateB, December 2004

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Voting Behaviour

"Voting behaviour used to be easy to determine. Class alignment provided Britain with stable voting patterns, whereby the tow major parties, Conservative and Labour. Could count on the support of the majority of voters. Since the 1970s, however, class de-alignment has accounted for more volatile voting patterns. Why people vote is less clear than in the 1950s and 1960s."

What do you consider to be the most significant factors that determine the way electors vote in General Elections in recent years?

Voting behaviour used to be very easy to determine. The deciding factor in voting behaviour was social class in 1960s. This is called class alignment. Most of people were loyal to one party, based on their class. But, since the mid-1970s, Crewe and others have claimed that the link between social classes and parties began to weaken. Class de-alignment started to take place. People no longer voted according to their class.

The main reason is that the increasing affluence of some members of the working class. Some of them considered themselves as middle-class, buying cars, and house. Moreover, the class has changed, because there were lot of new professions are brought in, such as management. And there is less manual job as industry automation taking place. Class fragmentation has begun to occur. This makes voting behaviour is difficult to predict. However, there are still a number of factors can influence the way people vote.

The main factor is the policy issues. Although, these are including in the manifesto, people seldom look at it. People are more influenced by the general policy of the party. The major party usually chooses several policy issues when the election comes. For example, in 2001 election, Labour chose health, crime, an education and economics as their major policy issues. But Conservatives selected...