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Q. Discuss three major factors which have influenced recent voting behaviour.

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Introduction

Q. Discuss three major factors which have influenced recent voting behaviour. (22 marks) A. Traditionally, voting behaviour in general elections has been much easier to explain, with voters in the C2DE category generally voting Labour and those in the ABC1 category generally voting Conservative. However, since the 1970's there has been growing evidence to support the theory of class dealignment. This theory suggests that the people in these social groups have thrown off the strong links with their traditional parties and use their vote more instrumentally. The causes of dealignment are linked to the changing social structure in Britain which has seen a large number of people moving up in the social categories. The most obvious manifestation of this was the movement of many into the C1 category making the middle classes (ABC1's) ...read more.

Middle

Tactical voting is a relatively new occurrence in British politics, which became increasingly apparent in the 1997 general election. A collaborative paper aided by Evans concluded that more people voted in the '97 election than the '92 election and this was because they "believed the parties had changed." An on-line news report then ran a survey which showed that 10% of people in the 1997 and 2001 elections voted "in order to keep another party out". This behaviour particularly favoured the Liberal Democrats in 2001 as 25% of intending Lib Dem voters did so to prevent another part from winning. With the emergence of 6 vote-swapping web-sites registering thousands of users and with reports estimating Tory losses of between 30 and 47 seats, it is fair to say that tactical voting is now a powerful; influence on British politics. ...read more.

Conclusion

According to some, would-be Labour voters stayed away from the ballot-box as the polls showed a massive Labour majority. Particularly among the social classes D, E and among young people, it is thought that many didn't bother to vote as they though many were going to win regardless. Worcester however, suggested that people were deliberately staying away from the polls as the two main political parties had nothing to offer them. Although recently, much emphasis has been placed party spin doctors such as Alistair Campbell attempting to influence the media headlines, evidence has shown that people can see through the 'spin'. In 1997 it was stated that the vast majority of people were able to correctly identify their papers' political allegiances, giving them the insight to dismiss the editorial 'spin'. Some people argue that people choose to read newspapers that reflect their political standing however to what extent remains uncertain. ...read more.

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