Is Social Class Still a Powerful Influence on Voting Behaviour? British Politics
In the British polity, the two main political parties have historically represented a social class. 'Class is the basis of British party politics; all else is embellishment and detail' (Pulzer, 1967). Labour were seen as the party of the working class, whilst the Conservative party were seen to represent the middle class. There has been a great deal of speculation as to whether this still holds to be true with increasing numbers of the electorate becoming 'class defectors'. Primacy approaches advocating social class to be one of the most fundamental factors in voting behaviour have come into conflict with advocates of the recency approach which places a greater weight on public perception of the party, as well as recent events in determining which way the electorate will vote. I will explore the various influences on voting behaviour in Britain to discover whether social class is indeed as powerful in influencing the voting habits of social classes in the British system as it was 50 years ago.…
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