• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Why has voting behaviour become increasingly more difficult to predict?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Mrs Smith's Politics Essay on Voting Behaviour By Chris Armstrong Question:- Why has voting behaviour become increasingly more difficult to predict? Voting behaviour is increasingly hard to predict because of the variables that ultimately affect it, these being class, gender, age, ethnicity and regional locality. It is the job of a political scientist to weigh up these factors along with public opinion on major and current issues such as the Health Service, Crime etc. In addition to these they will look at past elections and their statistics to determine the possible result of an imminent election. Research in the 1950's and 60's in Britain and the USA indicates that all the factors that might contribute to a persons voting behaviour such as religion, gender, age and regional locality; social class was by far the most accurate variable that political scientists could predict an outcome of an election on. Put crudely, in Britain at this time, working class people tended to vote Labour, while those from the middle classes were overwhelmingly Conservative party supporters. The one main problem of predicting elections based on class, is what to base class on and categorise people into groups. Should it be purely on income? If so it could mean that a senior mineworker or steelworker could be middle class, given the more modest earnings of most office workers, many administrators and civil servants, who by implication would be working class. ...read more.

Middle

They had the advantage of having a well represented party by female MP's contrasting the male dominant conservative party. The second was/is due to a rapidly changing workforce. Women were now beginning to achieve high power positions such as in the government as before mentioned but also in industry, world leading companies and even in the UK's counter intelligence arm; MI5 (Miss Manningham-Buller), the second in a decade. Also the traditional conservative attitudes of the more right wing Conservative MP's on domestic policies had a counter productive effect on the female voting population. Labour on the other side of the fence actually attracted women with their policies on improvements in childcare, health and education ('education, education, education' - Mr Blair). Age, one of the other determining factors of voting behaviour has had its fair share of theory's, predictions and disputes. For instance it was acknowledged for a period of time that from the voting age of eighteen most teenagers would be totally against the Conservative parties ideals. But as that person grew older they would have increased tendencies to vote for that party. Evidence for this can be found in the general conservative attitude; not supporting any radical changes, wishes to stay as England and not join EU etc. ...read more.

Conclusion

They have handled it relatively well being that they re beating the conservatives by nine to one and the Liberals by fifteen to one according to the two thousand and one elections. Generally, political scientists can best base their predictions on ethnic minorities reasonably accurately. Another example was in the much disputed Bush versus Gore US presidential elections, George Bush targeted both the minority groups (ethnicity) and younger adult citizens (age). He achieved this by first using the media much more effectively than his rival by only being in front of a camera if it was relatively scripted in effect not being asked awkward questions. He then demolished Al Gore's image by labelling him 'Al Bore Gore'. In conclusion to the question why has voting behaviour become increasingly more difficult to predict. It is always difficult to predict an elections for so many reasons as outlined above. As time has passed up to present day the job of an political scientist has become less accurate. They can only really speculate what is going to happen in a modern day election because of the increased amount of theories and general change in public perceived important matters. I also cannot see in the future the job becoming any easier unless there is a massive reform and change to the electorate system or a collapse/radical change in one of the major parties. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Political Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Political Philosophy essays

  1. Power and Politics in Organizations: Public and Private Sector Comparisons

    Anyone who has worked in government or in large-scale organizations in the private sector comes to appreciate the critical importance of the 'back-channel' aspect of organizational behavior. In the public/political sector these channels are more complex, less encapsulated, and potentially more explosive than in the private sector-and they require delicate and refined qualities of managing interpersonal relationships.

  2. Accounts for the changes in voting behaviour in the last 30 years in UK ...

    The majority of the working class would vote for the Labour party and the majority of the middle class in favour of the Conservatives, with an average of 90% of voters in support of these two parties. As stated the majority of these voters were 'identifiers' or partisans who would traditionally stay with one of the two parties mentioned.

  1. To what extent do recent elections in the UK and the USA support the ...

    In Britain Labours landslide victory in 1997 has to have been influenced by John Majors' governments criticisms regarding 'sleaze' as well as its very public divisions over Europe. My point is, that, voting statistics believe the context of the election and the feelings of the electorate.

  2. Socialist uses of workers' inquiry

    Are you aware of any cases when the government intervened to protect the workers from the extortions of the employers and their illegal associations? 93. Does the government strive to secure the observance of the existing factory laws against the interests of the employers?

  1. Analysis of Party Electoral Communications in the 1997 UK General Election.

    that may have contributed to Labour's victory. "Wasted votes" and an old electoral system that encouraged voter apathy may have been help to Labour, but also in some ways a hindrance. The electoral system in the UK elects 659 single member constituencies each returning on member of Parliament.

  2. Russia's Political Party System as an Obstacle to Democratization

    marked a change, not only because they put these parties to the test, but because they were held under new rules developed by Yeltsin to form a stable party system. Half of the Duma's 450 seats were elected by party list through a proportional representation system (in which votes are

  1. Third parties

    Occasionally third parties do come along and receive some share of the votes, for a while at least. The most successful third party in recent years has been H. Ross Perot's Reform Party, which has some success in the presidential elections of 1992 and 1996.

  2. T difficult for export orientated economics to sustain the land owning elites much longer. ...

    Paul Cammack defines it as "economies based on the export of primary commodities. In turn, the income generated by rising exports paid for manufactured goods from the USA and Europe" (Cammack, 1999, p 160). In Brazil the main export was coffee and in Argentina it was beef and wheat.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work