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Politics- Voting Behavious

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The socio-economic background is vital in explaining voter's behaviour during elections. This system involves examining the social class, gender, ethnicity, region of voters which are permanent and long term factors. However, there are various theories and models that are devised over the years to make sense of voting behaviour. The model that determines voting behaviour by using socio-economic factors is Social Structure Model or the Primacy Model. Traditionally, class is seen in occupational terms. It can be divided into manual and non-manual jobs. The former also known as the working class are expected to vote for the Labour Party while the latter also known as middle and upper class are more likely to vote the Conservatives. However, between 1945 and 1970, a majority of people belonged to the working class. In theory, people would vote according to occupational class and the Labour party would have won every general election during this period. This did not happen as there was some degree of cross-class voting with more manual workers voting for Conservatives instead. ...read more.


Although in 1983 and 1987, the Conservatives obtained a clear majority from the youngest voters. By 1997 the traditional pattern seemed to have reasserted itself with Labour once again winning a majority of first time votes. The changing workforce that includes more women has made an impact on the voting behaviour. It was only during the mid 1990s that the number of women in paid employment reached a similar level to that of men. Reason being people are being exposed to pro-Labour ideas and influences at work because of the collective experience of a workforce and participation of the Trade Union Movements. Also, fewer women are staying at home. As a result, traditional values regarding family and domestic life that was emphasised by Conservatives have less impact. However, political scientists must bear in mind that the Social Structure Model is not the only method used to determine voting behaviour. In order to have an accurate overview of voting patterns in the UK, other models and theories must be accessed. The Party Identification Model can be used in comparison with the Social Structure Model to examine if socio-economic factors play a part in determining voting behaviour. ...read more.


The last most effective model to use to explain voting behaviour is Rational Choice Model. It a Receny model that looks at short term factors which are more volatile in current situations. Parties cannot simply rely on the ideological support and the structure of society to win elections. The use of tackling issues, promises, manifesto and leaders are factors voters look out for while voting. Instrumental voting seems like the most effective method in determining the voting behaviour in the UK. For example, in 1997, Blair's landslide victory was possible because he tackled the issues of jobs, health and education. All of which are areas where citizens feel the need for improvements. In conclusion, voting behaviour is widely spread across the UK. By using only one model to examine the trends and pattern is not going to be an accurate justification. Moreover, each model and theory has its limitations. Hence, the socio-economic background of voters will predominantly be important in accessing voting patterns followed by the two other models mentioned. ?? ?? ?? ?? "Voting behaviour can be explained by looking at the socio-economic background of voters." Discuss Rebecca Yeo ...read more.

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